Students from UNC System campuses will gain experience at state agencies during summer program

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The University of North Carolina System has named six students as 2021 Marian Drane Graham Scholars. The scholars will participate in an eight-week immersive and experiential summer program, designed to help the students develop leadership skills and gain a better understanding of key issues facing public higher education.

As a part of the program, the scholars will be placed in a state government agency, where they will gain valuable working experience in the fields of public service and higher education. The program will operate remotely this summer with in-person site visits in July.

“We are excited to welcome our six new scholars. This year’s group of scholars has the unique experience of seeing what it has taken to keep our state’s higher education System running during the pandemic and how resilient our universities and state institutions are,” Kimberly van Noort, senior vice president for academic affairs.

Scholars will work with UNC System leaders during the summer, tour individual campuses and visit with key state policy leaders and elected officials in North Carolina and Washington, D.C., in July. Additionally, each scholar will work with UNC System staff to develop and present a capstone project outlining the role of higher education in North Carolina.

This year’s scholars are:

  • Dick Beekman, of UNC Charlotte, who will be placed at NC Military and Veterans Affairs
  • Megan Pryor, of NC State University, who will be placed at the Department of Public Instruction
  • Shaelyn Raleigh, of East Carolina University, who will be placed at the NC Business Committee for Education, Governor’s Office
  • Sunshine Angulo, of UNC Wilmington, who will be placed at the NC Community College System
  • Tahlieah Sampson, of UNC Charlotte, who will be placed at Student Affairs in the UNC System
  • William Teasley, of North Carolina A&T State University, who will be placed at the NC Pandemic Recovery Office

Open to rising juniors and seniors, the program began in 2013 and is named for Marian Drane Graham, the wife of Frank Porter Graham, the first president of the consolidated UNC System. The program’s namesake reflects its emphasis on pairing scholars who are passionate about education policy and public service with agencies in North Carolina.