Marian Drane Graham Scholars Program

The Marian Drane Graham Scholars Program is an immersive, experiential learning opportunity. This six-week summer program provides rising UNC System juniors and seniors a chance to develop leadership skills and gain a better understanding of key issues facing public higher education.

Scholars will be placed in a state government agency. Through this work, they will gain exposure to the fields of public service and higher education. Past Marian Drane Graham Scholars have worked with the North Carolina Community College System, Go Global NC, the NC Department of Public Instruction, and the office of the NC Secretary of State, among others.  Scholars will spend 3-4 days per week at their assigned state agency and work on projects developed in collaboration with site supervisors.

In addition to gaining hands-on professional experience, Scholars spend time in the UNC System offices in Chapel Hill, NC, learn from university leaders, travel to UNC System campuses, and visit with key NC policy leaders and elected officials in North Carolina and Washington, DC. Finally, the Scholars will work with System Office staff to develop and present a capstone project outlining the role of higher education in North Carolina and its impact on the UNC System. Through these experiences, Scholars develop a deep appreciation for the complexities of higher education and public service in the state of North Carolina.

The 2021 Program will operate remotely. The position carries a stipend of $3,400 and the UNC System will provide housing. Scholars may travel up to 35 minutes to internship sites and will need access to transportation.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Strong project management and organizational skills
  • Research, editing, and proofreading skills
  • Ability to work as a collaborative team player
  • Ability to handle multiple projects and deal with uncertainty
  • Ability to contribute individually and participate in cross-functional teams
  • Proficiency with MS Office Suite

Students from all academic disciplines are encouraged to apply, but applicants must meet the following minimum criteria:

  • Be a rising junior or senior with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, pursuing a bachelor’s degree from a constituent institution within the University of North Carolina System
  • Have a faculty sponsor at the scholar’s home institution who is willing to assist in the development of a capstone project
  • Have a passion for how higher education and an understanding of how North Carolina’s universities relate to our future, to local and federal government policy, the military, financial aid, and/or economic development
  • Be willing and able to live in apartment-style housing on the campus of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC, for six weeks beginning in May.

Application Process:

To apply for the 2021 program, complete the online application no later than February 28, 2021. The online application will require you to upload your resume, letter of interest, a letter of recommendation, and unofficial transcripts.

Dates for 2021
Applications due 2/28/2021
Program runs:  5/22/2021-7/16/2021

If you have any questions about the application process or program, contact Kim Mitchell, director for Student Development, at MDG@northcarolina.edu.  Candidates chosen for an interview will be notified by the end of February. Interviews will take place in early March. The UNC System Office will notify the selected scholars by the end of March 2021.