N.C. A&T’s Teasley Selected as 2021 Marian Drane Graham Scholar

By Jackie Torok / 06/30/2021 Academic Affairs, College of Engineering, Industrial and Systems Engineering

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (June 30, 2021) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University student William J. Teasley has been selected as a 2021 Marian Drane Graham Scholar through the University of North Carolina System.

William J. TeasleyTeasley, of Greensboro, North Carolina, is a rising junior majoring in industrial and systems engineering. A Dowdy Scholar and University Honors Program (UHP) Ambassador and “Mr. Honors,” he is one of six students and the only from a historically Black college or university to be chosen for the honor this year.

Teasley has been placed at the NC Pandemic Recovery Office through the Marian Drane Graham Scholars Program. The eight-week immersive and experiential summer program provides students with an opportunity to develop leadership skills and gain a better understanding of key issues facing public higher education.

“The experience offered in this program and the mission it seeks to instill in the Scholars offers a unique opportunity that coincides with my ambition,” Teasley said. “I have taken advantage of multiple opportunities, both professional and personal, to prepare myself for understanding the world of public policy and the effects of socio-economic shortfalls resulting in the lack of resources in at-risk communities.”

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.

An Eagle Scout, Teasley worked during the summer of 2019 with professors in multiple disciplines to research the effects of economic burdens on students in higher education and their universities’ response by investigating the prevalence of on-campus food pantries on college campuses. The following summer, he received an internship with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC to perform data logistical analysis and continues in this role today.

“William is a thoughtful, confident, and transformational young leader who has implemented programs such as Wellness Wednesdays, monthly service hours and community engagement activities,” said Margaret Kanipes, North Carolina A&T’s UHP director. "These initiatives have been critical in our efforts to protect our students’ mental health and maintain their well-being during the pandemic. We are extremely proud of William.

Teasley joined Julian Woods, a fellow Dowdy Scholar and UHP student, as A&T’s two Graham Scholar applicants.

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.

Media Contact Information: jtorok@ncat.edu

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