Skip to main content

Robert Plesants


Associate Director
Office for Undergraduate Research

Bob Pleasants is a three-time Carolina alumni and the Associate Director of the Office for Undergraduate Research. He studied men’s responses to learning feminism while getting his Ph.D. at Carolina but found that his main interest was in working directly with students. Before his work in Undergraduate Research, he was the University’s first Interpersonal Violence Prevention Coordinator before working as the Assistant Director and an Academic Coach at the Learning Center. His service to the campus has included founding the UNC Men’s Project and serving on the Mental Health Taskforce, the Campus Climate Review Task Force, the Diversity Education Team, and Sexual Harassment Committee.

He loves working at a public university and supporting students from all backgrounds, making sure all students feel welcomed, supported, and connected to resources at Carolina. One of his favorite aspects of working here is helping students figure out what they are passionate about and how to get involved in doing what they love.

He has lived in Durham for 15 years and is a proud dad of two smart, brave, kind, and hilarious girls.

Get to Know Robert

How do you identify?

Feminist, LGBTQI+ ally and advocate, empathetic listener, and advocate for students who haven’t found their community of belonging at Carolina. Cis, hetero, white male from the working-middle class background. Runner and reader.

List three things that people would be most surprised to learn about you?

  1. I can be outgoing and enthusiastic, but I’m an introvert.
  2. I struggled with my own mental health issues as an undergraduate at Carolina.
  3. I read about 100 books a year.

Who do you admire and why?

The late congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis. From an early age, he walked the walk of his faith and his vision for justice and was a nonviolent leader in so many crucial moments of the Civil Rights Movement: sit-ins, the Freedom Riders, Selma, and the March on Washington. His vision for justice didn’t waiver when he became a politician and served in Congress. My older daughter and I met him in Washington, DC, when she was six years old, and he was the kindest, humblest person.