Barack Obama has broken all records for the shortest time taken to nominate his core Cabinet members, according to an analysis of research led by UNC political scientist Terry Sullivan. Obama designated appointees for all four core Cabinet positions — the secretaries of state, defense and treasury and the attorney general — within 27 days of the election, the fastest pace in the last 30 years, Sullivan said. The Obama team shattered the old record by 12 days, held by President George W. Bush in 1988-89. Learn more.
American Transcendentalism by Philip F. Gura, professor of English and comparative literature in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences, was named among the Best Books of 2008 in the Washington Post’s annual Holiday Gift Guide. “Philip Gura writes a lean, impassioned prose, chockablock with anecdote and information. … Gura underscores how much we remain the descendants of these still too little known thinkers and crusaders,” writes critic Michael Dirda. “Above all, his exciting, even eye-opening book shows us that from 1830 to 1850 a group of New England preachers and intellectuals confronted what has proved to be the great polarizing tension in American history, that between hyperindividualism and the claims of social justice and human brotherhood.”
Not a bad week — two Carolina seniors were awarded the coveted Rhodes Scholarships covering graduate study at Oxford University, and two alumni were tapped for high-level posts in the Barack Obama White House.
Lisette Yorke, a biology major from Nova Scotia, and Aisha Saad, an environmental sciences and Spanish major from North Carolina, were among 43 students from the U.S. and Canada named Rhodes Scholars this year. About 85 students worldwide are awarded the scholarships annually.
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