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Ricky May, third from left, with previous Carolina Blue Honors Fellows.

The Carolina Blue Honors Fellowship has been expanded to reach more UNC students with additional funding from Ricky May. This will build on the Carolina Blue Fellowship’s momentum pre-COVID-19 and will ensure the long-term success of the program.  During summer 2022, the fellowship will be expanded to provide funding for more than three Fellows.  Moving forward, up to $15,000 will be awarded annually to provide support for three ambitious undergraduate students to pursue sports-related internships and faculty-mentored research projects in locations beyond the United States.

The Carolina Blue Honors Fellowship was established in 2015 with a gift from UNC-Chapel Hill alumnus Ricky May ’80.  Initially, the Fellowship was an investment in rising juniors and seniors who spent a summer abroad interning with sports-related start-up companies. Now, the Fellowship will also support students who intern or conduct faculty-mentored research on any aspect of sports in an international location.  Additionally, rising sophomores are now eligible for the Fellowship.

“We have a post-COVID-19 opportunity to regain the momentum that existed before the pandemic,” said May.  “Knowing that we will be able to reach students interested in sports more broadly will increase interest in and demand for the Fellowship and will provide more students with international opportunities.  In this case, bigger and broader really is better.”

“The Carolina Blue Honors Fellowship provides high-impact opportunities for Carolina students and prepares them to compete on a global stage for top jobs and post-graduate education,” shared Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz. “I am excited to see the Fellowship grow, and I look forward to following the long-term success of the Fellows.”

Troy Blackburn, associate dean for Undergraduate Research, noted, “I am especially excited to see the Fellowship expanded to include sports-related research projects.  The timing could not be better, because the new undergraduate curriculum requires every student to engage in research at Carolina.”

To be selected as a Carolina Blue Honors Fellow, students must submit an application that includes an internship or research project proposal and faculty letters of recommendation. Semi-finalists for the internship award will be invited to interview with the Fellowship selection committee.  Applicants for the research award will submit a proposal that will be evaluated by a faculty committee.

Jim Leloudis, Peter T. Grauer Associate Dean for Honors Carolina, said of the newly expanded Fellowship: “I’ve enjoyed seeing past recipients grow personally and professionally, and I applaud Ricky’s vision and generosity in making the award available to more students. I look forward to seeing great projects and even more lives changed in the years ahead.”

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