Who are we?

We began this magazine as a small neighborhood magazine for those in need of some excitement during the pandemic. We want to build community one edition at a time, getting our readers excited about the community, history and news by reading, watching and learning what we have to write about!

A and L Who are we? video from 2020, when we started the magazine!

Friends and co-creators

Adalia Schafrath-Craig

What’s up? This is Adalia. I love writing and all things creative so when Leeya and I started A and L, it was a perfect way for me to express myself!! Leeya and I have been working on projects together since we met in preschool, however A and L Magazine was our first project for the world to see. It is always interesting to hear what our readers have to say. I hope you have fun reading about ALL the wonderful topics we go over in our bi-monthly magazine!

Leeya Chaudhuri

Hi! My name is Leeya. I enjoy spending time with my family, traveling, debating, playing soccer and piano and, of course, writing! Adalia and I have been friends for over ten years and met in preschool at Follow the Child Montessori School. We love spending time together and are currently writing a cookbook, in addition to the magazine. We thought this would be a great idea to cure boredom for us and other people. I hope you enjoy!

Meet our contributors

Neel, artist

Neel is a nine year old artist who enjoys drawing, sculpting and painting. When he’s not making art, you can catch him playing video games or riding his scooter. He is very happy to have his art featured in two magazines. You can get a glimpse of his art in the magazine!

Cam, interviewee and reader

Cam and her dog, Lily, have been living in our neighborhood for over 20 years! We interviewed her to learn more about the history of our community. This magazine (A Travel Back in Time) hit on the key points of history and community.

Jean Parton, interviewee and reader

Jean Parton has been living in our neighborhood since she was a young girl and in Raleigh for her whole life! We interviewed her to learn more about the history of our community. Our A Travel Back in Time magazine hits on key points of history and our community.

Mirabel, artist

Mirabel is a seven year old reader and outside-player who loves coloring and hot chocolate. If you have ever seen a happy girl playing or biking down the street, it might be Mirabel. She is sooo excited to show her art to the world! You can see some of her art in various magazines. Check out her GrahamCracker newspaper!

Sejal Mehta, interviewee and reader

We interviewed Sejal Mehta to talk about 9/11 for our third issue (The Horror That Shocked America) because she was living in Brooklyn, New York when the event happened. Sejal is also Leeya’s mom and occasionally helps to edit our articles.

Dr. Dipti Patel, interviewee

We interviewed Dr. Dipti Patel for our article thanking healthcare workers for our fifth edition. She trained for internal medicine (medicine you would take at the hospital) and is a hospitalist. Dr. Patel was inspired to become a doctor because of her father, who was a neurologist and only surgeon in small-town Iowa.

Dr. Anand Mehta, interviewee

We interviewed Dr. Anand Mehta to learn more for our article thanking healthcare workers for Issue 5 (Giving Thanks). He went to UC Berkeley, where he studied fruit fly genetics to learn more about muscle development, in addition to NYU and UC San Francisco Dr. Mehta now works in Oakland, California, studying hormones.

Dr. Nipa Shah, interviewee

Dr. Nipa Shah grew up knowing that becoming a doctor was the career for her. When her grandmother died of heart disease at the age of 50, she knew she wanted to save people from that same sort of grief. However, because schooling to become a heart surgeon would take so long, Dr. Shah ended up delving deeper in family medicine so she would be able to have a family. We interviewed her for our Thanksgiving (Giving Thanks) edition.

Robin Moore, interviewee and reader

Robin Moore teaches a college course about understanding the connection between environmental design and human behavior at the College of Design at NC State. We interviewed him for our The Art of Coziness edition as well as for our first Living Locally to celebrate him for receiving the Alexander Quarles Holladay Medal for Excellence.

Dr. Nilda Cosco, interviewee and reader

Nilda Cosco teaches an introduction to the concept of environmental behavior at the College of Design at NC State. She has a degree in the psychology of how children learn and a PhD in landscape architecture. We interviewed Nilda for our sixth edition (The Art of Coziness).

Rob Craig, contributor, reader and writing contest participant

Rob Craig has written several articles and recipes for A and L Magazine. He is also Adalia’s grandfather. He enjoys reading the magazine to learn more about the community and Raleigh history even though he is not from North Carolina!

Emma Craig, interviewee

Emma Craig studied fashion design and pattern drafting at ESMOD in Lyon, France. We interviewed her for our seventh edition about jobs and occupations.

Amanda Hardenbrook, interviewee

Amanda Hardenbrook is a licensed clinical mental health counselor who specializes in hypnosis therapy. She has a full-time private practice which she has been in for seven years. We interviewed Amanda for our Jobs and Occupations edition.

Lumina Kemp, interviewee and Writing Contest participant

Lumina Kemp is a yoga instructor who lives in England, but is originally from the States. We interviewed Lumie for our Jobs and Occupations edition. She is also Adalia’s aunt and has edited several articles and added content to the magazines.

Dave Waller, interviewee

Dave Waller is an orienteering map drafter. He got interested in map drafting after spending many years competing and participating in orienteering. He realized that if he learned the principles of map construction he would be able to improve and this turned out to be true! We interviewed him for our seventh edition: Jobs and Occupations.

Billy Keck, interviewee

Billy Keck is the co-owner of Raleigh Reclaimed, which makes custom furniture and sells specialty lumber using reclaimed wood or wood from trees that would otherwise be destined for the landfill. Billy was one of our interviewees for our Jobs and Occupations edition.

Darshana Narayanan, interviewee

Darshana Narayanan is a trained neuroscientist. She works with monkeys and studies them to understand why monkeys don’t talk and humans do. You can learn more about Darshana in our Issue 7: Jobs and Occupations.

Ben Taylor, interviewee/reader

Ben Taylor is an architect. His job is mostly about designing buildings at Integrated Design. He meets with the client to talk about their needs,  does a schematic drawing and does the design development and construction documents, or blueprints. We interviewed him for our Jobs and Occupations edition.

Ramesh Mehta, interviewee, Writing Contest participant and reader

Ramesh Mehta is a retired diamond merchant who used to own the Bombay Diamond Corporation. His company imported small diamonds from Indian diamond manufacturers and sold them to jewelry makers in the US. They then set those diamonds into jewelry that was made on the East Coast. Read our Jobs and Occupations edition for more information.

Matt Craig, interviewee

Matt Craig works for Above and Beyond-Business Tools and Services for Entrepreneurs, which is a company that makes things like payment processing software. This means they may have sold the box you swipe your credit card into to your favorite restaurant! We interviewed Matt for our seventh issue.

Cheryl Williams, interviewee, #OVRL contributor and reader

Ms. Cheryl Williams is a resident of Historic Oberlin Village. As of December 2021, she was the vice chair on the Friends of Oberlin Village Board of Directors. We interviewed her for our first Black History Month edition. Also, she inspired and helped us a LOT with our #OberlinVillageRegionalLibrary petition!

Ebony Thomas, interviewee

Ebony Thomas was Adalia’s teacher. We interviewed her for our Black History Month edition extra content. In our discussion, we talked about Black History, being an African-American teacher and equity versus equality.

Ms. McCormick, interviewee

Ms. McCormick was born in Bladen County, North Carolina. Her father was a sharecropper and she remembers going to a two-room school that was a four-mile walk from her home. We interviewed her for our first Black History Month edition.

Virginia, contributor and Writing Contest winner

Virginia has written a blog for our magazine. She is A and L’s official “plant mom.” Also, she is the third place winner for our 2021 Writing Contest! Check out Issue 9: Harbingers of Spring for her blog on taking care of plants and our Writing Contest Anthology AND livestream for more!

Mr. Faulkner, contributor

Mr. Faulkner was Leeya’s teacher. He wrote an article about making the most of gardening and yourself for our Harbingers of Spring edition. His love of gardening came from his parents, grandparents and growing up in Arkansas, where he learned to plant and produce food.

Lany McDonald, Writing Contest winner, contributor and reader

Lany McDonald participated in our 2021 Writing Contest. You can check out her work in our anthology. Because of her win, she submitted some work for other editions!

Mithu Chaudhuri, Writing Contest winner, interviewee and reader

Mithu Chaudhuri is a board-certified cytotechnologist, who used to study cancer cells under the microscope in the lab and worked as an office manager for my husband’s surgical clinic for several years too. Leeya interviewed her for our Leading edition. Mithu was the winner of the A and L Heart Award from our 2021 Writing Contest. Check out her work in our Writing Contest Anthology.

Usha, Writing Contest participant and reader

You can check out Usha’s work from our Writing Contest!

Debi, Writing Contest participant/reader

Debi’s work appears in our writing contest anthology!

Anokhi Mehta, interviewee

We interviewed Anokhi Mehta to talk about Okja, a movie. This movie changed her entire perspective on the food industry, particularly the animal cruelty aspect. Check out her interview in Issue 10: Big Topics.

Chavi Koneru, interviewee

Chavi Koneru’s organization was put together to empower North Carolina’s Asian American community. We talked to her more about her work for our eleventh edition on Asian American month .

Mujtaba Mohammed, interviewee

Senator Mujtaba Mohammed is one of the few North Carolinian senators of Asian American descent, and one of the most important things on his agenda deals with stopping and preventing Asian hate crimes. We talked to him to learn more for Issue 11: Asian American Month .

Jamie DeMent, interviewee

Jamie DeMent is the co-owner of Coon Rock Farm, located near Occoneechee Mountain in North Carolina. On her farm, they grow an array of veggies and fruits, as well has livestock, like chickens, pigs and sheep. We visited the farm and interviewed Jamie for our 12th edition: Bringing Food to Life to learn more about where our ingredients come from.

Sara Abernethy, interviewee

Sara Abernethy’s restaurant, Wye Hill, opened shortly before the pandemic began, so she and her husband really experienced the brunt of those struggles. We interviewed Sara to understand better what restaurants were facing in the midst of a worldwide pandemic for our edition Bringing Food to Life.

Preeti Waas, interviewee

At the time we interviewed Preeti Waas, so we running a small cafe, Cheeni, from our local YMCA, which had a tiny kitchen and prep space, so we got in contact to talk to her about Indian food and the art of using kitchen space well, for Bringing Food to Life . Since then, her restaurant has expanded to downtown Raleigh!

Sheri Castle, interviewee

Sheri Castle is a food writing and storyteller, who teaches cooking classes and does media work for TV and the radio. She loves how stories can tell food and loves to make recipes, generally focusing on Southern-style food. Sheri talked to us about storytelling and Southern food in our Bringing Food to Life magazine.

Debra Schafrath, interviewee and reader

Debra Schafrath went on a plant-based, gluten-free diet during the summer of 2019. In the process, she did a ton of research on alternatives to meat, dairy and gluten. Adalia spoke to her for our Bringing Food to Life edition to learn more about food  alternatives. Debra is Adalia’s mom and helps out with editing as well!

Jamie Schafrath, interviewee

When Jamie Schafrath was only five years old, her best friend, El Toro was killed. El Toro was a bull on her family farm. This event turned her off meat for the rest of her life. Since then, Jamie has become a pescatarian. Jamie talked to Adalia about this for our Bringing Food to Life edition.

Ainsley, artist

Ainsley has done some artwork for our magazine, inspired by current events in the community.

Dr. Alan Metz, interviewee

Dr. Alan Metz, a psychiatrist by training, is the Chief Medical Officer of the Americas for IQVIA, a US-based, multinational company that specializes in clinical research and health information technology. Though most of his work for the past 30+ years has been in the pharmaceutical industry, he continues to set aside time to see and support patients. We interviewed Dr. Metz for our Health and Wellness During COVID-19 edition.

Dr. Ritesh Patel, interviewee

Dr. Ritesh Patel is a clinical pharmacist and pharmacy director for several pharmacies and clinics around North Carolina. During the pandemic, with the new vaccines he job has changed slightly. We talked to him and Dr. Jae Jung about administering the COVID vaccine and more for our 14th edition on health and wellness.

Dr. Jae Jung, interviewee

Dr. Jae Jung is a staff pharmacist, who works closely with Dr. Patel. Currently, he is working mainly with COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Dr. Jung has helped out in a variety of places from long-term care facilities vaccinating the elderly to vaccine clinics where lines of people wrap around a building just to get a shot. We talked to him and Dr. Patel for our 14th edition.

Pooja Mehta, interviewee

Pooja Mehta is a mental health advocate. among other things. When she was 19, she had a panic attack in her Duke dorm and was reported as a danger to herself and other students, which encouraged her to speak up about mental health. We interviewed Pooja for our Health and Wellness During COVID-19 magazine.

Dr. Manisha Sinha, interviewee

Dr. Manisha Sinha is the James L. and Shirley A. Draper Chair in US History at the University of Connecticut. She became interested in African American studies after studying US history at graduate school and realizing that Black History is such a large part of our history. Dr. Sinha has written several books, including The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition, The Abolitionist Imagination, and The Counterrevolution of Slavery: Politics and Ideology in Antebellum South Carolina. We interviewed her to learn more about the Reconstruction Era for our 2022 Black History Month edition: Reconstructing the Past and Present.

Keni Hines, interviewee

Mr. Kennith “Keni” Hines was a high school teacher and college professor, who has always been interested in Black history. Over the past decade, he has been writing A Global History of Blacks in the 19th Century: Detailed Chronologically from 1800 to 1899, which he recently self-published via his own company: Armstrong Smith Publishing. In fact, you can buy the book from several places including tinyurl.com/blacks-19thcentury. Go to educateanduplift.com to learn more! You can also read more in our 15th edition, where we interviewed Mr. Hines.

Raven Heyward, interviewee

Raven Heyward discovered her interest in business through the AP Capstone Program at Enloe High School where she researched how DEI policies were affected in the business world. Raven also has a podcast called DiversifyHER. She created it to “facilitate open dialogue by educating herself and others about DEI.” We interviewed Raven for our edition: Leading, to learn more about DEI and DEI solutions.

Symoné Spencer, interviewee

Symoné has been singing since age two and doing theater since 5th grade when she was cast as the lead in Annie. She loves adventurous feats and even went skydiving for her 18th birthday! She dreams about going to Broadway and creating her own music business. We interviewed her for our 16th edition to learn more about winning Triangle Rising Stars, a dance and theater competition.

Dr. Suzanne Enzerink, interviewee

Dr. Suzanne Enzerink is a professor of American Studies. She has taught in several countries including the United States, Lebanon and Switzerland. She grew up in a rural part of the Netherlands, listening to popular American artists like the Backstreet Boys, Aaliyah, and Destiny’s Child and became interested in American Studies after hearing a presentation on the major at the University of Groningen. Enzerink completed her PhD in American Studies at Brown University. Since then, she has taught in Beirut, Lebanon and St. Gallen, Switzerland. We were inspired by her article Teaching American Studies in the Middle East and interviewed Enzerink for American Studies Abroad.

Diego Rodriguez, contributor

For several years, Adalia has been participating in a Spanish speaking club with a group of teens from Soacha, Colombia. She reached out to them through her wonderful teacher, Sr. Rodriguez to see what they had to say for our 17th edition: American Studies Abroad.

IE Soacha Avanza la Unidad Class 805, interviewees

For American Studies Abroad, Adalia reached out to class 805 from Soacha Avanza la Unidad school, in Soacha, Colombia, through her teacher, Sr. Rodriguez. We received answers from Cristian, Liyen, Maria J, Donna, Nicolle, Sara, Camila, Nicole, Laura, Luisa, Juan Esteban S., Eva, Daniel, Sara Maldonado, Maria Fernanda J., Maria Fernanda G., Paula, Juan Esteban Q., Luis, Alejandra, David and Valeria.

Fiona, interviewee

Fiona is an 11th grader whose favorite subjects are English, English literature, economics, and sociology. In her free time, she loves listening to music, watching movies, crocheting and cooking. We interviewed her for a French perspective on the United States.

Nathan, interviewee

Nathan is a 16 year-old, who will be in his last year of high school. He enjoys sports such as karate and scuba diving. He noted that where he lives is convenient for scuba diving in Annecy’s lake. In his free time, he enjoys writing stories and scripts. Nathan’s interview is in American Studies Abroad.

Rose, interviewee

We interviewed Rose for American Studies Abroad. Rose is moving to a new high school, where her favorite subjects are theater and philosophy. Rose enjoys listening to music while cycling or walking her dogs.

Élisa, interviewee

Élisa is an 11th grader whose favorite subjects are literature and philosophy in French, literature in English and theater. Élisa loves theater because “it is a way to be myself without the fear of other’s gaze and…it allows me to get more self-confidence and oral skills.” She is also interested in social science and human behavior. Élisa enjoys playing and listening to music, and spending time with the people she loves. We reached out to Élisa to get in contact with several other teens and interview her for a French perspective in American Studies Abroad.

Paul, interviewee

Paul, Élisa’s boyfriend (AKA the happiest man in the world) is an 18 year-old who has just finished high school. He is headed to the preliminary grade, where he will study French computing engineering. He is a big computing enthusiast, photographer, crocheter, filmmaker and piano player. We interviewed him for our 17th edition.

Zuzanna, interviewee

We interviewed Zuzanna for a Polish perspective on the United States, for issue 17. Zuzanna is a 10th grader at a small British school in Warsaw, Poland.

Alessandro, interviewee

Alessandro is a rising 12th grader from Bologna, Italy. His school focuses mostly on the sciences, including math, biology and physics. In his free time, Alessandro likes reading, watching movies and riding his motorbike. We interviewed him for American Studies Abroad.

Alex, interviewee

Alex is a rising senior who lives in Thessaloniki, Greece. Alex enjoys history and English. We interviewed her for our 17th edition: American Studies Abroad.

Georgia, interviewee

Georgia is a rising senior who lives in Thessaloniki, Greece. She enjoys reading, debating, and attending classes at the YMCA. Her favorite subject is Ancient Greek. Georgia’s perspective can be found in American Studies Abroad.

Gracia, contributor

Gracia is a friend of Adalia’s. We reached out to her to get in contact with our teens from Nairobi, Kenya for Issue 17: American Studies Abroad.

Trevor, interviewee

Trevor, who is thirteen is from Nairobi, Kenya. Trevor likes math and playing soccer. We interviewed him for American Studies Abroad.

Yahya, interviewee

Yahya, who is thirteen likes PE and watching movies. He lives in Nairobi, Kenya. We interviewed Yahya for American Studies Abroad.

Daniella, interviewee

Daniella is going to Jomo Kenyatta University, where she has just finished her first year. Her favorite subject is Calculus and she enjoys skating and shopping. We interviewed Daniella for a Kenyan perspective in our 17th edition.

Sangita, interviewee

Sangita is a college graduate, who graduated with a major in biology and is completing a professional paramedical course. She likes to read, listen to audiobooks and watch movies. Sangita lives in West Bengal, the western region of India. We interviewed Sangita for American Studies Abroad.

Rhythm, interviewee

We interviewed Rhythm for an Indian perspective for American Studies Abroad, our 17th issue. Rhythm is an 11th grader who enjoys math and watching TV.

Alexander, interviewee

To learn more about a South Korean perspective on the US for American Studies Abroad, we reached out to Alexander, a rising senior at the Hankuk Academy of Foreign Studies (HAFS). He was born in Guam but raised in South Korea, where he lives in Seoul. Alexander is planning to study human biology at a college in the US.

Dr. Shaun Wallace, interviewee

We interviewed Dr. Shaun Wallace for American Studies Abroad. Wallace grew up in a small, quiet village on the outskirts of the historic city of Stirling, Scotland. He went to the University of Stirling as the first in his family to go to college and in 2018, Wallace was awarded his PhD. From there, he moved to Bristol, England, where he is a lecturer in US History at the University of Bristol.

Merray Gerges, interviewee

Merray Gerges lived on three separate continents by the time she was 15 years old. She was born in Egypt but moved to Abu Dhabi in 1996 and then, at 15, to Canada. Currently, Gerges lives in New York City where she is a writer and editor for her own art history and art criticism publication, which she does with some of her friends. We interviewed her for Issue 17: American Studies Abroad.