Current Students

Nick Allen

Headshot of Nick Allen

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.

Sarah Singer

Sarah Singer

PhD Student, English and Comparative Literature
Originally from Maryland, Sarah moved to North Carolina for graduate school in 2013.¬† She is about to finish her PhD exams and will soon be a PhD candidate in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at UNC. 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 is working on a dissertation project about the visual and textual rhetorics of Lyme Disease. 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. She teaches 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.