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Change from within

Carolina students got a chance to tell the University Board of Trustees about how they have been transformed by three programs – the Morehead-Cain Merit Scholarship, the Robertson Scholars Leadership Program and the Kenan-Flager Global Learning Opportunities in Business Education.

Carolina has long inspired students to go out and change the world after they graduate.

But on Thursday (Sept. 22), students got a chance to tell the University Board of Trustees about how they have been transformed by three programs – the Morehead-Cain Merit Scholarship, the Robertson Scholars Leadership Program and the Kenan-Flager Global Learning Opportunities in Business Education (GLOBE) – that brought the world to them.

“We are focusing today on three amazing programs that students get to participate in,” said Chancellor Carol L. Folt, adding that trustees would get the opportunity to hear some of the these actively involved, hardworking students tell them their own remarkable stories.

The Morehead-Cain Foundation is Carolina’s largest – and longest – all-time donor, with a relationship stretching back 71 years; 27 of its scholars have served as student body presidents; 21 as Honor Court chairs; and 33 as Campus Y presidents.

The Robertson Scholars Leadership Program is a joint merit scholarship and leadership development program at Carolina and Duke University that was created in 2000 by benefactor Julian Robertson, a 1955 Carolina graduate. The scholarship offers participants a unique dual enrollment at both universities.

The GLOBE program brings together three of the world’s best business schools to provide undergraduate students with a premier business education that spans the globe. Carolina’s are the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and the Copenhagen Business School (CBS).

Morehead-Cain Scholar Morgan Howell, a senior from Norwood majoring in computer science and business administration, said the scholarship had enabled him to spend his summers learning how to survive in the forests of the Wild River Range in Wyoming; how to serve in Zanzibar, Tanzania; how to work in the high-tech world of Go Daddy in Sunnyvale, California; and how to understand the business side of technology by serving as an intern at Microsoft in Seattle, Washington.

Without funding from the Morehead-Cain Foundation, Howell said, those experiences would not have been possible.

Fellow Morehead-Cain Scholar Allie Polk of Nashville, Tennessee, who is majoring in environmental health sciences and entrepreneurship, said being a Morehead-Cain Scholar encourages students to explore. And she has.

“For me, the more I strayed off the path I set for myself, the more I discovered something I really enjoyed and someone I really connected with.”

As she explained to a trustee who asked what advice she would give other students, quoting J.R.R. Tolkien: “Not all those who wander are lost.”

Robertson Scholars spend the summer after their first year living together and participating in community service internships in Cleveland, Mississippi; Whitesburg, Kentucky; and New Orleans in order to increase their awareness of the different social and economic challenges across the country.

But, Shafali Jalota, one of three Robertson Scholars who is majoring in music and studying vocal performance, said the program gave her the opportunity this past summer to perform lead roles in two different operas in Italy and Canada. But it was the one-semester course Robertson Scholars take during their first year to discuss social issues and ethical challenges facing today’s leaders – that triggered a deeper exploration within herself.

“I am not a philosopher in any sense, but this class was very formational to me because it forced me to question why I wanted to pursue a career in the arts and why the arts are important.”

What she learned in the process was the freedom, not of just the open road, but an open mind.

“The questions we asked in that class I think about every day because, for me, it is not possible to pursue my career and pursue my life without questioning why I am doing it.”

Robertson Scholar Michelle Moffa, a Duke student from Linwood, New Jersey, said her passion lies in engineering and she plans to use it to help bring clean drinking water to people around the world.

Mariann Lysholm, one of the GLOBE students from the Copenhagen Business School, said the program has helped her create deep friendships with fellow students rooted in the experiences they have shared around the world.

She was part of a cohort of students from CBS, CUHK and UNC who study together for 18 months and experience a truly global business education in Europe, Asia and the United States. Study trips allowed students to learn business firsthand in locations ranging from Brussels to Berlin, London to Shanghai, Washington D.C. to Research Triangle Park.

Studying at Carolina this fall, Lysholm has learned a little bit about American football in Kenan Stadium as well, she said.

She had had the “the best time of her life” going to football games, she said, “and I don’t even know the rules.”

Angela Bond, GLOBE’s senior associate director, told trustees that the students’ experiences are proof of a premise on which the program is based: “That students learn more outside the walls of a classroom than within them.”