The Guiding Light

Cancer can magnify the darkness and light we all walk around with — the electricity that fuels a good day with our kids, and the bottom floor of our souls where we struggle with all that we are and all that we could be. The forces are always competing. But the crazy, beautiful thing about Sam Anthony is that he finds a way to let the light win. … More The Guiding Light

Converting the Shot

Charlotte Smith’s already spent part of a June evening in her Elon University office talking about the stuff that really matters: the lessons she’s learned since one improbable shot, a mere seven-tenths of a second in time, changed her life. How a win for the ages can turn into a long, expectant shadow, following you around for years after the last piece of confetti has fluttered to the court. How the world can shake you to your core, present death and divorce to you in a single year and dare you to keep your competitive edge, dare you to somehow grow from deep loss. … More Converting the Shot

How to Mend a Sole

She was preparing to leave a remote Liberian village last June when a boy named Henroy appeared. He was barefoot and thin, wearing a soccer jersey and an expression too broken for a face that was only 9 years old. Someone had sent for him so that Chesca Colloredo-Mansfeld could see his condition, but walking across the muddy earth from the road was a terrible balancing act. How could it not be? Henroy’s left foot twisted inward and upward. The sole of his foot faced the sky. … More How to Mend a Sole

Don’t Lecture Me

Kelly Hogan’s new normal began one day in 2010 when Bob Henshaw, an instructional consultant at UNC’s Center for Faculty Excellence, placed a troubling collection of statistics on her desk. They showed that underrepresented students — blacks and first-generation college students — were disproportionately scoring Ds and Fs in her classes. … More Don’t Lecture Me

The Missionary

“Isn’t this a great view?” Shirley Ort asks in her elegant, lilting voice of the scene outside her Pettigrew Hall window. Ort’s office is modest, but the world beyond it is indeed spectacular, an October burst of yellow and orange across the expanse of McCorkle Place, with ruddy brick walkways crisscrossing the fading summer grass, all paths paved with opportunity. This view was unthinkable to Ort at 17, a world of higher consciousness closed to a girl from an impoverished rural family. … More The Missionary