23 episodes

This is Catalyze, a podcast produced by the Morehead-Cain Foundation at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. With a wink and a nod to the Foundation's two chemist benefactors—John Motley Morehead III and Gordon Cain—“Catalyze” is meant to represent action, movement, and bringing about change. Our conversations with action-oriented alumni and scholars cover Carolina experiences, career evolutions, individual leadership approaches, personal values, and all kinds of stories of transformation, resilience, and achievement.

Catalyze Morehead-Cain

    • Careers

This is Catalyze, a podcast produced by the Morehead-Cain Foundation at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. With a wink and a nod to the Foundation's two chemist benefactors—John Motley Morehead III and Gordon Cain—“Catalyze” is meant to represent action, movement, and bringing about change. Our conversations with action-oriented alumni and scholars cover Carolina experiences, career evolutions, individual leadership approaches, personal values, and all kinds of stories of transformation, resilience, and achievement.

    Niki Shamdasani ’15 on launching Sani, bringing South Asian-inspired formalwear to Rent the Runway

    Niki Shamdasani ’15 on launching Sani, bringing South Asian-inspired formalwear to Rent the Runway

    People told Niki Shamdasani ’15 and her sister, Ritika, that they were “delusional” for aspiring to break into the fashion world with South Asian-inspired formalwear. But in the past two years, the sisters have proved the naysayers wrong in big ways.

    Sani recently launched a partnership with Rent the Runway, a fashion subscription service for luxury items, to increase access to Indian occasion wear for women across the globe. In between business trips, Niki stopped by the Foundation in Chapel Hill to share the news and what’s next for the startup.

    • 20 min
    Episode 22: Michelle Jana Chan ’96

    Episode 22: Michelle Jana Chan ’96

    This episode features Michelle Jana Chan ’96, an award-winning journalist based in London. Michelle began her career with Newsweek magazine in New York, Beijing, and London, before she moved into radio and then television as a news producer for CNN.

    She is now travel editor of Vanity Fair, contributing editor at Conde Nast Traveller, and the BBC’s presenter of Global Guide. She also writes for the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, Travel & Leisure, and Tatler.

    Michelle has been the Travel Media Awards’ Travel Writer of the Year, the AITO Travel Writer of the Year, and Latin American Travel Association’s Writer of the Year. Her writing has been included in three anthologies. Her debut novel, titled Song, was published in July 2018.

    In our conversation you'll hear more about Song, about Michelle's forthcoming new book Duet, and about the rest of her incredible travel-writing career.

    • 24 min
    Episode 21: David Royle ’78

    Episode 21: David Royle ’78

    Today you'll hear from David Royle, Morehead-Cain Class of 1978. Originally from Bristol, David leads the editorial team that launched the Smithsonian Channel—which is the youngest channel to have ever won an Emmy.

    David was previously Executive Vice President of Production for National Geographic Television & Film, where he helped launch the National Geographic Channel. He was the Executive Producer of the award-winning television series National Geographic Explorer. Under his leadership, Explorer won more News and Documentary Emmy Awards than any other show on TV.

    As an independent filmmaker in New York, prior to working for National Geographic, David produced and directed programming for a wide range of broadcasters.

    David has won all of America’s major broadcasting awards, including: nine Emmys, the George Polk Award, the Edward R. Murrow Award, the Peabody Award, and du Pont-Columbia University Awards Silver and Gold Batons.

    After graduating from Carolina, he earned a master of arts at the University of Minnesota as a Rotary International Journalism Scholar.

    • 24 min
    Episode 20: Audience Q&A with Taylor Branch ’68

    Episode 20: Audience Q&A with Taylor Branch ’68

    You're about to hear the second half of a recorded visit with Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian Taylor Branch. Last week we published a moderated Q&A with him, and now you're about to hear an audience Q&A. This conversation was recorded live during a recent visit Taylor made to the Foundation, when he was in Chapel Hill to be inducted into the NC Media and Journalism Hall of Fame.

    A member of the Morehead-Cain class of 1968, Taylor is best known for his trilogy of books chronicling the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and much of the history of the American Civil Rights Movement. The first of those books—Parting the Waters—is what won him the Pulitzer Prize.

    Taylor grew up in Atlanta in the 50s and early 60s. After graduating from Carolina, he earned an M.P.A. from Princeton University. Taylor has worked as an editor and columnist for a number of national magazines. Over the years, he developed a friendship with Bill Clinton—a relationship that continued into Clinton's time in the White House. Taylor later wrote a book about that relationship, which he titled The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History with the President.

    Taylor's many awards include a MacArthur Fellowship (also known as a "genius grant"), the National Humanities Medal, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Lifetime Achievement Award, and the BIO Award from Biographers International Organization.

    Taylor now lives in Baltimore with his wife, Christy.

    • 27 min
    Episode 19: Taylor Branch ’68

    Episode 19: Taylor Branch ’68

    Catalyze Season Three continues with a bonus episode featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and author Taylor Branch ’68. This interview was recorded in front of an audience during a recent visit Taylor made to the Foundation, when he was in Chapel Hill to be inducted into the NC Media and Journalism Hall of Fame.

    A member of the Morehead-Cain class of 1968, Taylor is best known for his trilogy of books chronicling the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and much of the history of the American Civil Rights Movement. The first of those books—Parting the Waters—is what won him the Pulitzer Prize.

    Taylor grew up in Atlanta in the 50s and early 60s. After graduating from Carolina in 1968, he earned an M.P.A. from Princeton University. Taylor has worked as an editor and columnist for a number of national magazines. Over the years, he developed a friendship with Bill Clinton—a relationship that continued into Clinton's time in the White House. Taylor later wrote a book about that relationship, which he titled The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History with the President. In our upcoming conversation, you'll hear some entertaining stories from Taylor about that experience.

    Taylor's many awards include a MacArthur Fellowship (also known as a "genius grant"), the National Humanities Medal, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Lifetime Achievement Award, and the BIO Award from Biographers International Organization.

    Taylor now lives in Baltimore with his wife, Christy.

    • 28 min
    Episode 18: Jim Exum ’57

    Episode 18: Jim Exum ’57

    Today you'll hear from Jim Exum, one of eight members of the first class of undergraduate Morehead-Cain Scholars: the Class of 1957. Jim is also a former Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court.

    After attending law school on a full scholarship at New York University, Jim practiced law in North Carolina until 1967, when he began a term in the North Carolina House of Representatives. The same year he joined the House, the governor appointed him Resident Superior Court Judge in Guilford County.

    In 1975, Jim joined the North Carolina Supreme Court, where he eventually became Chief Justice. Jim wrote more than 400 opinions for the court.

    In the mid-90s, Jim returned to private practice. As a lawyer, he has helped brief and argue more than 40 appeals in state and federal appellate courts.

    Throughout the early 2000s, Jim served as Distinguished Jurist-in-Residence at Elon Law. He taught law as a professor there from 2000 until his retirement in 2018.

    Jim has received multiple awards for his commitment to civil liberties and justice.

    • 23 min

Customer Reviews

Nikitas927 ,

Great podcast for inspiration + connection to the Carolina community!

Love this podcast! It is inspiring to hear about UNC alumni in a wide range of professions, life stages, etc. The host does a great job of digging into more than the guests’ career trajectories. The breadth of guests and topics keeps each episode fresh. It energizes me when I’m reminded of this great community that I am lucky to be a part of!

totalpodcastgal ,

Fantastic new podcast!

This podcast from the Morehead-Cain Foundation has tons of potential. The alumni of this program are so diverse and so accomplished that their stories would be interesting to anyone wanting to make a difference in the world! Can’t wait to see where it goes.

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