Three recent graduates will develop professional skills at the UNC System Office

Three smiling UNC System Presidential Scholars
Pictured (left to right): Aspen Andersson, Samuel Robinson, and Raven Sizemore

RALEIGH, N.C. — Three recent graduates of University of North Carolina System institutions will serve as Presidential Scholars for the 2024-25 academic year.

The Presidential Scholar program is a one-year fellowship that allows graduates of UNC System institutions to serve in a wide array of professional functions in the UNC System Office. The scholars interact with the president, senior leadership team and members of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors. They also gain experience in areas including education, public policy, research and strategic initiatives that affect higher education.

The members of this year’s class are:

Aspen Andersson

Aspen Andersson, of Clayton, NC, is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in political science with a pre-law concentration and double minors in Spanish and English. She was involved in the Honors College Student Council, the Chancellor’s Ambassador program, the 1887 Society, Model United Nations, Alpha Chi National Honors Society, Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honors Society, and Alpha Pi Omega Sorority, Inc. Andersson also worked as a teacher’s assistant, resident advisor, and service-learning intern before serving as the president of the Student Government Association and ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees for the 2023-24 academic year. In her role as president, Andersson advocated for affordability, inclusivity, student safety and access to mental health resources while also serving as the chair of the Association of Student Governments Council of Student Body Presidents.

Andersson is part of the inaugural class of the University of Virginia Law School’s Roadmap Scholars Program, which introduces students to the legal field. She plans to attend law school to study education law and policy.

Samuel Robinson

Samuel Robinson, of Monroe, NC, graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and history. He served in the UNC Undergraduate Senate and as student body vice president. 

He was chair of numerous university committees, including the Provost Advisory Council, the Dean of Arts & Sciences Advisory Committee, the Hardship Parking Committee, and the Rules & Judiciary Committee of the Undergraduate Senate. Additionally, he served as undergraduate chair of the Student Advisory Committee to the Chancellor and was appointed by former Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz to serve as the only undergraduate student on the inaugural Chancellor’s Committee on Academic Freedom and Free Expression. Robinson worked to re-establish advisory committees to the provost and dean of Arts & Sciences, revitalized the selection process for 130 student leaders appointed to university committees, and reformed the hardship parking process for students. 

After his fellowship, Robinson plans to attend law school.

Raven Sizemore

Raven Sizemore, of Randleman, NC, is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in music education and graduated summa cum laude with Global Honors. In 2020, Sizemore was selected as the inaugural Sloan Scholar recipient of the four-year all-inclusive scholarship at UNCG. She served as historian of the music fraternity Mu Phi Epsilon, secretary of the UNCG National Band Association, and as the UNCG Pubantz Artist in Residence, where she received a grant to complete a research proposal. As an emerging leader in the music community, she was a panelist at the NC Trombone Festival, conducted at the NC Brass Festival, and performed at the NC Music Educators Association Conference.

Sizemore was on the administrative team for UNCG Summer Music Camp, and served her community through teaching internships in three counties in North Carolina. Since the loss of her sister in an automobile accident, Sizemore has advocated for safer roads, speaking at local commissioner, fire chief and North Carolina Department of Transportation meetings to support more funding and improved roadways. Upon the completion of her time at UNCG, she was nominated for UNCG Student Teacher of the Year award, inducted into the UNCG Golden Chain Honors Society, and awarded a UNCG Provost Student Excellence Award and the UNCG School of Music Barbara B. Bair Award. She hopes to gain valuable insight into the inner workings of the UNC System, which will inform her future endeavors in education and public service.