Molly Brewer

Molly Claire Brewer

Alumnus of Master’s Program in Occupational Therapy

Molly graduated from the UNC program for Occupational Therapy, was a study coordinator for the HHIVE Lab, and a member of the Literature, Medicine, and Culture Colloquium. She studies in the intersection of healthcare and humanities and her research and involvement with the HHIVE focused on how humanities can inform health care practices and the patient experience. For example, Molly took a course on technology and medicine focused around the adaptive and assistive devices used by individuals who have physical disabilities, cognitive impairment, low vision, hearing impairment, and intellectual and developmental disabilities. The course asks how accommodations can be made to allow patients to access their environment more easily.

As the study coordinator for the Falls study, Molly facilitated the group’s journey through the IRB process and continues to support the principle investigators through recruiting. After graduate school, Molly plans to become an occupational therapist and is interested in working with older adults, specifically older adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as co-morbid Alzheimer’s and other dementia related diseases.

Kaitlin Cruz

Cruz_Portrait 2x2

Undergraduate Alumna

Clinical Laboratory Science/Nursing Major
Minor in Literature, Medicine, and Culture

Kaitlin first heard about the HHIVE Lab at an interest session about the Literature, Medicine, and Culture minor. She already knew she wanted to go into medicine, but the idea of examining the field through a lens other than science never really occurred to her. She was very interested in delving into this subject, as healthcare is a major part of society that affects much more than just the wellbeing of a population. She wanted to be part of a team that helped expand this new field and improved the way people look at health and wellbeing. Besides that, the interdisciplinary work HHIVE is carrying out fit well with her personal interest in the arts and humanities. The blending of fields she cared about while being able to learn more about and possibly improve healthcare are why she enjoyed working in the HHIVE Lab.

See some of Kaitlin’s work here and here.

Hannah Doksansky 

Undergraduate Alumna

Interdisciplinary Studies in Health Communication


Caroline Fryar 

CFryar headshot

Medical Student at UNC School of Medicine
Undergraduate Alumna

Double Major in Classics and German
Minor in Chemistry

When Caroline joined the lab, she was looking to find a community of people who wanted to discuss health care in an interdisciplinary, challenging, interesting way, something that she believed can get lost in the day-­to-­day of providing patient care. Prior to HHIVE, she had never worked in humanities research before. She wanted to learn new methodologies and approaches to research other than the empirical/quantitative work she was already used to. 

Caroline is currently at UNC’s Medical School.

Grant Glass

Grant Glass headshotPhD student

English and Comparative Literature



Katharine Henry 

Katharine HenryPhD student

English and Comparative Literature



Lauren Howland 

Undergraduate Alumna

Global Studies


Katie Huber

Headshot of Katie Huber

Master’s Student in UNC Gillings School of Public Health
Undergraduate Alumna

Double Major in Anthropology and Medical Humanities
Minor in Biology

Katie first heard about the HHIVE Lab during her sophomore year at UNC and was involved with the lab since. She assisted with the Falls Study, where she transcribed interviews, compiled and annotated bibliography, and designed graphics. After she completed her honors thesis and her undergraduate studies, Katie was accepted into the M.A. program at the UNC Gillings School of Public Health.

Find a sample of Katie’s HHIVE work here.

Lorena Millo

Lorena Millo headshotMedical Student at UNC School of Medicine
Undergraduate Alumna

English Literature
Business Administration
Chemistry Minor


Manisha Mishra 

Photo of Manisha Mishra at the old well

Master’s Student in the Center for Medicine, Health and Society at Vanderbilt University
Undergraduate Alumna

Double major in Biology and Interdisciplinary Studies: Medical Humanities
Minor in Chemistry

Manisha Mishra is a 2019 UNC graduate from Mooresville, North Carolina who majored in Biology (B.S.) and Interdisciplinary Studies: Medical Humanities (B.A.) and minored in Chemistry. Frustrated with the monotonous pre-medical experience she was receiving, she decided to branch out and take a literature and medicine course which ultimately was the gateway for her love for Medical Humanities. Since then Manisha has become a huge advocate for this interdisciplinary field as it has helped bring in a new refreshing perspective to her education. She is particularly interested in the variation of rhetoric in narratives that results from one’s experience with illness. She was awarded the 2017 Burch Fellowship, allowing her conduct research in London with the program Performing Medicine regarding the role of arts-based pedagogy in medical training for clinical empathy development. This set the foundation for her honors thesis which focused on theory and practices of clinical empathy. She was also the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Health Humanities Journal of UNC-CH and was student researcher in the Falls Narrative Study. Manisha is now enrolled in the Medicine, Health, and Society M.A. program at Vanderbilt University. In her free time, she can be found practicing yoga, rereading her favorite novels The Goldfinch and The Namesake, and going on random adventures. 

Calvin Olsen


Alumnus of English MA concentration in Literature, Medicine, and Culture

Calvin Olsen holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Boston University, where he received a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship. His poetry and translations have appeared in The Missouri Review Online, Tar River Poetry, Poetry DailyColumbia, Salamander, and many other journals and anthologies. Recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize and the Best New Poets anthology, Calvin is currently co-poetry editor of The Carolina Quarterly and is completing translations of Portuguese poet João Luís Barreto Guimarães’s newest book, Mediterrâneo, and the collected works of the late Alberto de Lacerda.

Izzy Pinheiro

Izzy PinheiroUndergraduate Alumna

Interdisciplinary Studies in Health Humanities



Kaylyn Pogson

Picture of Kaylyn Pogson posing with a dogAlumna of English MA concentration in Literature, Medicine, and Culture

Kaylyn moved to the Triangle from South Africa, completing her undergraduate career at UNC with Biology and English majors. While at UNC, she focused heavily on the medical humanities, with her study culminating in a lengthy honors thesis on breast cancer narratives at different points in time and through various genres. She used her thesis to examine why women afflicted by breast cancer seem to possess an unusual drive to write about their experiences, as well as their perceptions of the unique threats on femininity that breast cancer imposes with an emphasis on the effects of different timepoints and genres on the illness experience and its narrative, respectively.

As an M.A. student, Kaylyn continued to study breast cancer illness narratives with a greater emphasis on their theoretical frameworks, and was particularly interested in the question of how different and developing genres are used to address the question of how to most effectively convey the illness experience. Kaylyn took advantage of the interdisciplinary nature of the program with classes in English, biology, medicine, and public health. She plans to use her medical humanities training as a physician focused on humanism in patient-centered care. Kaylyn is now enrolled at the UNC Medical School.

Brandon Rogers


PhD Student in Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media (CRDM) at NCSU
Alumnus of English MA concentration in Literature, Medicine, and Culture

As a student who graduated from the University of Central Arkansas with a B.S. in Biological Physics and a double minor in Interdisciplinary Studies and Creative Writing, Brandon has always taken a “left-brain/right-brain” approach to his studies. However, it wasn’t until he enrolled in a literature and medicine course that he realized how the humanities could shape his research interests in science, virtual reality, and medicine. At UNC, Brandon was part of the first cohort of the Literature, Medicine and Culture master’s program.

Additionally, Brandon was Community Resources Manager for HHIVE and organized volunteers, coordinated outreach events, and connected with scholars in neighboring programs at Duke University and North Carolina State University. His research includes critical making processes (how the act of making can also function as a critique of the object in itself, such as a technological piece that also critiques the society for which it is developed for) and game studies. When he is not playing games you can find him running half marathons and practicing studio art. Currently, he’s looking at master’s programs in neuroengineering and electrical engineering, as well as PhD programs in communication and Science and Technology Studies (STS). He aspires to go into either academia or industry, but ideally both.

Nakisa Sadeghi

Nakisa SadeghiUndergraduate Alumna

French and Francophone Studies
Business Administration
Chemistry Pre-med Track


Sarah Singer, PhD

Sarah Singer

Assistant Professor at the University of Central Florida
Alumna of English & Comparative Literature PhD Program
Originally from Maryland, Sarah moved to North Carolina for graduate school in 2013.  Her experiences as a Lyme Disease patient and sexual health peer-educator when she was at the University of Maryland sparked her interest in health humanities. Both of these experiences taught her that health and medicine–language, experiences, treatments, and more– are constructed rhetorically, meaning that they are interpretive and that we can understand them in different ways through a humanistic lens.

In the HHIVE, Sarah worked with Jordynn Jack and Jen Stockwell on the Writing Diabetes Project. Outside of the HHIVE, she completed a dissertation project about the visual and textual rhetorics of Lyme Disease. Her related research interests include the rhetoric of health and medicine; disability studies; visual ethnography and visual rhetoric; gender and sexuality; feminist historiography; and writing in the disciplines. While at UNC, she taught ENGL 105 and ENGL 105i: Health and Medicine, and has been a teaching assistant for WMST 101, ENGL 611, and the UNC Warrior-Scholar Project.

Audrey Ward

Audrey Ward headshotFormer PhD student

English and Comparative Literature



Kym Weed, PhD

Teaching Assistant Professor of English & Comparative Literature at UNC
Alumna of English & Comparative Literature PhD Program

Headshot of Kym WeedBeginning Fall 2019, Kym will return to UNC as a Teaching Assistant Professor of English & Comparative Literature and as Co-Director of HHIVE and Associate Director of the English MA concentration in Literature, Medicine, and Culture.

Kym was appointed Senior Lecturer and Assistant Director of Graduate Studies in the Center for Medicine, Health, and Society at Vanderbilt University after completing her Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature at UNC in August 2018. At Vanderbilt, she taught undergraduate and graduate courses in health humanities and mentors master’s students in independent thesis research and practicum projects.

Kym graduated from Lebanon Valley College with a B.S. in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. After a few years of working in a pharmaceutical company doing product testing in a microbiology lab, Kym decided to return to graduate school to pursue an M.A. in English at the University of Maryland where she began to recognize the value of using literature in medical ethics, cultural studies, and science studies. While a PhD student at UNC, Kym joined an energized community of scholars interested in Literature, Medicine, and Culture. She studied American literature from the late nineteenth to early twentieth century, which was an exciting and formative period in science and medicine. Her dissertation research investigated how bacteriologists and authors in this time period understood microbes, and she considered how this new view of the world impacted human relations with one another and the world.

At UNC, Kym was a teaching assistant for the undergraduate Literature Medicine, and Culture course and served as the chair of the graduate student Literature, Medicine, and Culture Colloquium. She also taught First Year Writing, Narratives of Contagion, and Introduction to American Literature: Protest & Dissent. In the medical school, Kym lead critical incident discussion sections and assisted with the pilot RICE course that is now part of the third year curriculum. In HHIVE, Kym was the Assistant Director and the Study Coordinator for the Fall Narrative Study and enrolled in the inaugural ENGL695 class.

Sam Weeks

Headshot of Sam WeeksFormer Masters Student, Concentration in Literature, Medicine, and Culture

A native of the mountains of Western North Carolina, Sam moved to Chapel Hill to start his undergraduate career in 2013. He has Bachelors degrees in Biology and English with a minor in Chemistry from UNC. He spent two years of his adolescence living with his family in Nairobi, Kenya, an experience that opened him to the realities of injustice and poverty and set him on a trajectory of pursuing a career of medicine. Sam’s love of literature and preference for people over science textbooks led him to the field of Health Humanities, and he directed some of his undergraduate studies in the Department of English and Comparative Literature towards that field. As a student in what is now ENGL 695, he and two other students conducted a study examining the effects of live musical performance in hospital waiting room environments. You can find out more about that project here (link to the Music Study page here).

Sam worked as the HHIVE’s volunteer coordinator. His interests include Early Modern literature (particularly John Milton and John Donne), the doctor-patient relationship, and conceptions of morality in illness. He hopes to pursue a career in medicine in the coming years.

A sample of Sam’s undergraduate work with the lab may be found here.

Andrew Zavaleta

Headshot of Andrew Zavaleta

Undergraduate Alumnus

Double Major in Political Science and Global Studies

Andrew hopes to pursue a J.D./MPH dual degree program at the Georgetown University School of Law and the Johns Hopkins University-Bloomberg School of Public Health.