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Editor’s note: Writer Taylor Coffey is a sophomore from Burlington, North Carolina, double majoring in advertising/public relations and communications. Taylor is also a Carolina Social Influencer.


With so many courses to choose from, registering for classes can be overwhelming. To help with your search, UNC-Chapel Hill sophomore and Carolina Social Influencer Taylor Coffey spoke with students on campus to find out which courses were influential or meaningful to them. Here’s what they had to say!



AMST 220: On the Question of the Animal: Contemporary Animal Studies

“Originally taking it to simply fulfill a gen-ed, this class in animal studies initially seemed like an easy schedule filler,” sophomore Alex Morton said. “But I quickly realized how much more than that it was. The professor engaged us in conversations outside the realm of animal studies and I feel like I actually learned about important mechanics of the world with discussions ranging from recent natural disasters to the World Cup. As more of a math person, a purely discussion-oriented class seemed very off-putting at first, but it quickly became one of the most important and genuinely engaging classes I’ve taken at UNC that got me out of my comfort zone.”


ANTH 280: Anthropology of War and Peace

“It was a reverse classroom set up, which I thrive on, and the professor actually made the readings relevant to the lecture,” junior Kalyx Lyons said. “It was also cool because the professor carried the lecture throughout the semester like one continuous story, which is my favorite way to think of and learn history. It made me think I wanted to be an anthropology major for a minute.”


ECON 101: Introduction to Economics

“The professor was great,” sophomore Calvin Levinson said. “That class was the reason I switched to be an economics major.”


ENEC 201: Introduction to Environment and Society

“The professor clearly had a strong passion for the environment and how we can have a more sustainable future,” Rachel Coleman, a sophomore, said. “I always found the topics discussed in this class thought-provoking and I think the information is relevant for everyone.”


ENGL 123: Introduction to Fiction

“It’s really just a great class,” according to sophomore Jake Rademaker. “We analyze fiction and we read short stories, and the professor is so excited about it. He loves when we read, he loves the discussions and he loves all of the connections that we make, and that just really means a lot to me.”


HIST 140: The World since 1945

“History 140 was a class about life after the world wars and it allowed me to view historical events through a broader perspective to understand the motives behind tragedies and injustice,” sophomore Nataly Valdibia said. “My professor taught me to examine history from the perspective that all countries shape their own history through their own narratives to develop an identity they want to be remembered, whether it be being classified as a victim or a perpetrator in history. The professor always had lectures that focused on small events that he related to his thesis statement about historical narratives that I thought were interesting and eye-opening.”


HIST 585: Race, Basketball and the American Dream

“It really connected everything about UNC together, and it’s basketball,” junior Vance Stiles said. “It showed me that sports, politics and U.S. culture can all run together, and everything’s connected, which blew my mind. Plus, Kenny Smith came and talked to our class! Anytime you get a two-time NBA champion answering questions from your class about his experience as an athlete, it’s incredible.”


MEJO 101: The Media Revolution: From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg and Beyond

“The most meaningful class I have taken at Carolina is Media and Journalism 101, Nerys Martinez, a sophomore, said. “Originally, I thought I would be focusing on reporting, which would soon change. We had different guest speakers every lecture. This helped show me that reporting was not something I wanted to do, and PR and advertising was for me. Also, the professor and the dean made us feel important and were easily accessible.”


MEJO 137: Principles of Advertising and Public Relations

“The professors are both young and influential and I enjoy hearing from guest speakers,” sophomore Anabelle Scarborough said. “I also think the assignments in class are preparing us for the real world which is useful.”


PLAN 247: Solving Urban Problems

“Learning the way urbanization impacts the way we live our lives every day was incredibly eye-opening to me,” according to sophomore Ben Rappaport. “It made me see how my urban landscape impacts my everyday actions and the way we interact with each other. This class has inspired me to continue in planning and use urban design as a way of tackling existential problems such as climate change and the pursuit of daily fulfillment.”


POLI 203: Race, Innocence and the Decline of the Death Penalty

“The most influential class I’ve taken at Carolina was Political Science 203: Race, Innocence and the Death Penalty with Frank Baumgartner,” junior Jordan Mason said. “The class really opened my eyes to the injustices of the incarceration system that remain prevalent today. The speaker series was also very inspiring!”


Some of the most influential classes may be courses you never even thought about, which is why it’s important to take advice from your fellow Heels. No matter what you study, UNC-Chapel Hill has amazing professors ready to help you learn. Here’s to another semester of being the best and the brightest Tar Heel you can be!


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