Making a Noise: 2019’s Marian Drane Graham Scholars Have Plenty to Share

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The lobby at the UNC System Office tends to be a rather solemn space. The space features a baby grand piano, but it stands silently. Visitors and staff hastily breeze through on their way to meetings, but they rarely stop and talk. Even when they do pause to chat, the conversation is typically conducted in half-whispers. But on July 12, a bustle of activity replaced the usual quiet. Five resourceful and charismatic students from the UNC System came to share ideas about how to strengthen North Carolina’s education systems.

The Marian Drane Graham Scholars Program provides rising juniors and seniors in the UNC System with an immersive learning experience designed to help them develop leadership skills and gain a better understanding of key issues facing public higher education. This year’s five scholars had spent eight weeks embedded across different state agencies. Over the course of their internships, they worked closely with site supervisors and System Office staff. In addition, visits with key policy leaders in North Carolina and in Washington, DC, provided them with insight on how to launch a career in public service.

The scholars didn’t just acquire boots-on-the-ground experience working at their placement sites. They also spent the summer collaborating with members of the System Office staff and a faculty advisor from their home institutions to develop a final research project.

Marian Drane Graham Scholar Jennifer Gamez studies middle-grades education at UNC Wilmington. Gamez, placed at the Department of Public Instruction, focused her research on measuring the percentage of Hispanic/Latinx teachers throughout North Carolina’s local education agencies.

Read the full article on the UNC System website.

Drane Scholars