2018 Marian Drane Graham Scholars Program

The Marian Drane Graham Scholars Program is a six-week immersive and experiential summer program designed to provide students the opportunity to develop leadership skills and gain a better understanding of key issues facing public higher education. The program is open to rising juniors and seniors attending one of the sixteen constituent institutions of higher education in the University of North Carolina.

Scholars will be placed in a state government agency, where they will have the opportunity to 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 will be mentored by UNC leadership, spend time in the UNC General Administration offices in Chapel Hill, NC, travel to UNC campuses, and visit with key NC policy leaders and elected officials in North Carolina and Washington, DC. Finally, the Scholars will work with General Administration 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, it is anticipated that each Scholar will develop a deep appreciation for the complexities of higher education and public service in the state of North Carolina.

The position carries a stipend of $2400 and housing will be provided. Scholars may travel up to 35 minutes to internship sites, so access to transportation is required.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Strong project management or organizational skills;
  • Research, editing, and proofreading skills;
  • Ability to work as a team where ongoing collaboration is a must;
  • 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 pursuing their bachelor’s degree from a constituent institution within the University of North Carolina System with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0;
  • Have a faculty sponsor at the scholar’s home institution that is willing to assist in development of a capstone project (more details will be provided at a later date);
  • Have a passion for how higher education in North Carolina relates 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 program, complete the online application no later than  Friday, Febraury 2, 2018. You will also need to upload your resume, letter of interest, a letter of recommendation, and unofficial transcripts when completing the online application.

If you have any questions about the application process or program, contact Farris Smith, 2017-18 Presidential Scholar, at MDG@northcarolina.edu.  Candidates chosen for an interview will be notified by the end of February. Interviews will take place in early March and scholars will be selected and notified the end of March 2018. The anticipated program dates are May 21, 2018 through June 29, 2018.


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