UNC Campus Connections

Complete coverage of North Carolina Tar Heels Campus Connections.

Now That His Burgers Are Nationally Famous, Al Bowers Looks Back on the Shack That Almost Wasn’t

With lines that regularly stretch out the front door, down the two-step staircase, and along the West Franklin Street sidewalk in Chapel Hill, students, locals, and visitors have known for years what review aggregator TripAdvisor announced: Al's Burger Shack slings the best burger in America, specifically its sloppy, delicious Bobo Chili Cheeseburger. (Indy Week)

"He was prescribing justice": Remembering the life of Charles van der Horst

Charles van der Horst, it seemed, was always in motion. Between championing accessible healthcare and treating patients around the world, the doctor and activist filled his days doing what he cared about most. But it was van der Horst’s smaller passions and projects that capture the fun-loving and enthusiastic nature of the man that was a bedrock in his community. (Daily Tar Heel)

Blue Spoon Microcreamery opens in Franklin Street space formerly occupied by Sugarland

Cindy and Dave Somasunderam are no strangers to the food industry. The two met while working at a restaurant and have been married for almost 33 years. They’re opening Blue Spoon Microcreamery on Franklin Street. Blue Spoon is no ordinary ice cream shop. What makes the Somasunderam’s ice cream unique is that they use liquid nitrogen to freeze it. (

UNC Dental School encourages students to ‘Live Like Deah'

On the first floor of the UNC dental school, a display case holds two white coats, folded and framed in remembrance of Deah Shaddy Barakat and Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha. At the UNC dental school, they have an expression that they pass from class to class. “Live Like Deah,” they say, encouraging dental students to think big, think about others and give back. (North Carolina Health News)

“I Was Doing It for My Patients”: Dr. Charlie van der Horst on His Life Fighting for Justice

The Triangle’s health advocacy community lost one of its most outspoken voices with the death of Dr. Charlie van der Horst during a swimming race in the Hudson River. The world-renowned AIDS researcher and professor emeritus of medicine and infectious diseases at UNC was not content to fight for his patients in the exam room or from the lab bench. (Indy Week)

Campus Y hosts Dr. Joel J. Schwartz Memorial

On May 18, family, friends and former students gathered to honor the life and work of Dr. Joel J. Schwartz. During his tenure at UNC, Schwartz was the recipient of multiple teaching awards, including the University Professor of Distinguished Teaching, and five chancellor and student undergraduate awards. He also received the General Alumni Faculty Service Award. (

Friends, family honor life of former UNC medical professor who died in NY swimming race

Friends and family gathered at Beth El Synagogue Tuesday to remember the life of Dr. Charles van der Horst. He died over the weekend while swimming in a race in New York. In the early 1980s, when the HIV/AIDS epidemic was filled with uncertainty and stigma, van der Horst, who was a medical professor at UNC-Chapel Hill, was there from the beginning. (CBS 17)

UNC Children’s Hospital Implementing Changes Following New York Times Investigation

UNC Health Care will be taking several steps, including pausing some complex pediatric heart surgeries, to “restore confidence in its pediatric heart surgery program.” The health care system announced the initiatives after a New York Times investigation detailed concern regarding the quality of care some children with serious heart issues received. (

From AIDS research to social justice, Charles van der Horst used his ‘powers for good’

In one of the last photos taken of him, shared by the sponsors of a swim marathon on New York’s Hudson River, Charles van der Horst was heading into the waters the way he jumped into everything else: all in, feet first. Van der Horst was a preeminent UNC researcher and clinician who helped develop groundbreaking treatment protocols for HIV/AIDS. (Durham Herald-Sun)

Interview with Jeopardy! champion, UNC alum Emma Boettcher

Emma Boettcher was nicknamed the “Giant Killer” by Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek after beating longtime champ James Holzhauer. A lifelong Jeopardy! fan, Boettcher wrote her master’s paper at UNC's School of Information and Library Science using text mining to find out whether the readability of the show’s questions could predict their difficulty levels. (American Libraries)

Swimmer missing in Hudson River is internationally-regarded AIDS researcher

The marathon swimmer who disappeared near the George Washington Bridge during a 120-mile race on the Hudson River is an internationally recognized AIDS researcher and former professor at the University of North Carolina. Charles Van Der Horst, 67, of Chapel Hill, vanished on the New Jersey side of the bridge Friday afternoon. (New York Post)

Search continues for retired UNC professor who went missing during swimming competition

The search continues Saturday for retired North Carolina professor Dr. Charles Van Der Horst, who reportedly went missing while he was competing in a swim in the Hudson River near the George Washington Bridge. Officials say at some point, fellow competitors in the "8 Bridges Hudson River Swim" noticed the 67-year-old swimmer went missing on Friday. (ABC 11)
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