UNC-Chapel Hill startups deliver economic boost to North Carolina communities

August 15, 2017

UNC-Chapel Hill startups deliver economic boost to North Carolina communities

Carolina startups and social ventures generate $10 billion in annual revenue toward state and global economies; create more than 8,000 jobs in North Carolina and 63,000 worldwide

(Chapel Hill, N.C.— Aug. 15, 2017) – The economic value created by startups connected with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is on the rise, according to a biannual report on Carolina’s commercial and social ventures.

The mid-year analysis shows upward trends in how the University’s startup companies and social ventures are growing across North Carolina, creating new jobs that contribute to the changing workforce and bringing revenue to local and global communities. It includes ventures founded by faculty, staff and students during their time at UNC-Chapel Hill or within three years of graduating from or leaving the University.

As of June 2017, data on UNC-affiliated ventures show:

  • A 26 percent increase in the total number of ventures (475 compared to 378) since June 2016, with 75 percent of the total ventures launched (358 of 475 ventures) still active.
  • 85 percent of active ventures (306 of 358 ventures) are headquartered across 16 North Carolina counties, an 8 percent increase from the 283 UNC-affiliated ventures based in North Carolina at this time in 2016.
  • 99 percent of the $10 billion in annual revenue earned by the ventures comes from those headquartered in North Carolina.
  • 63,914 people are employed by these ventures, and 8,090 of these employees are located in North Carolina.

“Faculty, students and alumni of UNC-Chapel Hill are highly successful at not only incubating novel ideas, discoveries and technologies in classrooms, studios and labs, but also taking their innovations to market as commercial startup companies or social ventures,” said Judith Cone, vice chancellor for innovation, entrepreneurship and economic development. “Because the large majority of these companies establish themselves in North Carolina, they make a significant economic impact for the state by providing jobs and generating revenue in local communities. At the same time, these companies make a human impact that is global in scale through new advances that include bio-medical therapies for serious diseases, technological breakthroughs and social endeavors that improve the lives of many citizens in North Carolina and beyond.”

The economic impact analysis is conducted by Innovate Carolina, a meta-group of more than 200 university faculty, staff and student leaders who collaborate to create new connections, identify gaps and strengthen the innovation and entrepreneurial environment on and off campus.

A number of Carolina startups made significant advances in 2017, including:

G1 Therapeutics, a clinical-stage oncology company in Research Triangle Park with ties to the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, raised approximately $108.6 million in an initial public offering of its stock in May. The company began trading on the NASDAQ Global Market under the ticker symbol “GTHX.”

Impulsonic, a 3D audio company that creates true-to-life sounds in virtual reality experiences and games, was acquired by Valve Corporation, a video game and digital distribution company. Impulsonic was founded by students and researchers from Carolina’s computer science department.

Falcon Therapeutics is advancing a new approach using tumor-homing cells to treat glioblastoma cancer, the most common form of primary brain cancer and also one of the deadliest. The company recently raised $700,000 in a private equity stock offering, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. It was founded by a professor at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy.

410 Medical has developed a novel medical device rapidly infuses life-saving fluids during medical emergencies involving critically-ill patients. It received an investment from the Carolina Angel Networkand is the first company to receive funding from Triangle Venture Alliance, a new investment partnership among angel networks from UNC-Chapel Hill, NC State University, Duke University and NC Central University. The company was co-founded by a physician with a clinical faculty appointment in pediatrics at the UNC School of Medicine.

Seal the Seasons partners with local farmers and uses technology to flash freeze farm-grown produce at the peak of freshness to sell to consumers 12 months a year. The company, founded by a Carolina student, has raised $750,000 in funding and sells produce at a variety of grocery stores, including Harris Teeter, Lowes Foods, Fresh Market and Whole Foods.

Through the support of the Innovate Carolina Network, UNC-Chapel Hill startups are positioned for success as they move through their innovation journey. With a mission to create an environment where innovators thrive, Innovate Carolina provides the right resources and connections that startup companies and ventures need to nurture their ideas.


About the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education. Now in its third century, the University offers 77 bachelor’s, 113 master’s, 68 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty, staff and students shape their teaching, research and public service to meet North Carolina’s most pressing needs in every region and all 100 counties. Carolina’s more than 318,000 alumni live in all 50 states and 157 countries. More than 167,000 live in North Carolina.

About Innovate Carolina

Through the Vice Chancellor’s Office for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, Innovate Carolina is UNC-Chapel Hill’s innovation ecosystem that supports the needs of faculty, students, staff, and community members as they translate their unique ideas into practical benefit for the public good. To further cultivate innovation and entrepreneurship within the community, Innovate Carolina provides connections to incubators, accelerators, business services and campus programs, including the 1789 Venture LabLaunch Chapel HillKickStart Venture ServicesTechnology Commercialization Carolinaand CUBE, the social innovation incubator at the UNC Campus Y. Innovate Carolina also partners with the startup investor community through the Carolina Angel NetworkCarolina Research Ventures Fund and Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network. Follow Innovate Carolina on Facebook and on Twitter and visit http://innovate.unc.edu/.


Office of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development contact: Michelle Bolas, (919) 843-6287, michelle.bolas@unc.edu

University Communications contact: MC VanGraafeiland, (919) 962-7090, mc.vangraafeiland@unc.edu

Service through technology (profile of CS major Zareen Farooqui)

August 15, 2017

Zareen Farooqui is a junior studying business administration and computer science at UNC-Chapel Hill. This summer, she’s using the knowledge she gained in her classes to revamp United Way of the Greater Triangle’s Teaming for Technology Program. That program refurbishes used computer equipment and makes it available to North Carolina schools, students and nonprofit organizations at greatly reduced prices.

“We work to provide refurbished computers to underserved communities,” said Farooqui. “In school, I’m doing a lot of coding but I’m not getting my hands dirty in the actual hardware which I was able to do here.”

Farooqui’s internship was part of the APPLES Service-Learning program based out of the Carolina Center for Public Service. The student-led program pairs Carolina students with community or governmental organizations for a variety of internships in either the spring semester or during the summer.

Learn more about the APPLES Service-Learning program by visiting the program’s website.

This week, we’ll profile three Carolina students participating in the program. Watch a video about Carolina student and APPLES Service-learning intern Jennifer Barber.

By Brandon Bieltz, University Communications
Published August 2, 2017

Pasunuru, Bansal earn Outstanding Paper Award at ACL 2017

August 14, 2017
Mohit Bansal
Mohit Bansal
Ramakanth Pasunuru
Ramakanth Pasunuru

First-year doctoral student Ramakanth Pasunuru and assistant professor Mohit Bansal earned an Outstanding Paper Award at the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) 2017 conference in Vancouver, Canada. ACL is the primary conference in Natural Language Processing (NLP) research, and the Outstanding Paper designation was awarded to the top 1.5 percent of nearly 1,400 submissions. The paper, “Multi-Task Video Captioning with Video and Entailment Generation,” significantly improves the challenging task of video description generation via multi-task learning with the auxiliary tasks of video-to-video completion and premise-to-entailment generation.

The full paper is available online.

For more information on Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning research by Prof. Bansal’s NLP-ML Group, please visit nlp.web.unc.edu.

Baykal, Alterovitz earn Best Paper at RSS 2017

July 17, 2017
Ron Alterovitz

Cenk Baykal (B.S. 2015) and associate professor Ron Alterovitz earned the Best Paper award at Robotics: Science and Systems (RSS) 2017 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Their paper, “Asymptotically Optimal Design of Piecewise Cylindrical Robots using Motion Planning,” introduced a method of motion planning that allows a tentacle-like medical robot to navigate through an area of the body and reach as many target regions as possible while avoiding obstacles like bones and major organs.

The full paper is available online.

For more information on robotics and motion planning research by the Computational Robotics Group, please visit the group’s website.

Full-time UNC student runs a corporation

July 12, 2017
Sophomore Ritwik Pavan is CEO of Linker Logic Technologies based in Chapel Hill. Photo courtesy of Ritwik Pavan.

Linker Logic Technologies Inc., founded by CEO Ritwik Pavan when he was a high school junior, designs apps for businesses.

The price to get an app made by the Chapel Hill-based company, which has worked on 38 apps and has 14 ongoing projects, ranges from $25,000 to more than $100,000.

One of the business’ customers is Quentin Jackson, who had an idea for an app that connects college coaches with high school athletes who want an athletic scholarship. Jackson said that Linker Logic was instrumental to his company’s success.

“We’ve gone from a company valued at $0 to a company that will potentially sell for $30 to $50 million dollars within the next two years,” Jackson said.

Herman Hill, a sports official at the high school and collegiate level, wanted to develop an app to help referees. He said the app is in the works at Linker Logic.

“They make you want to work with them,” Hill said. “You give them a concept, they take it from a small (idea), then turn it into a huge concept.”

Linker Logic began as just a guy with an idea, or rather a teenager who had already developed two apps: one for his religious organization, iGokulam, and one game called Flappy Yeet. Pavan, a sophomore computer science and business major, began the journey of making people’s ideas for apps, websites and software when he was a junior at Enloe High School.

Evan Gallagher, Linker Logic’s 19-year-old project manager and sophomore at Syracuse University, said Pavan is a great leader.

“He leads not only by example but exemplifies someone as a role model,” Gallagher said. “If I’m feeling like I don’t really want to do this today, I know he’s going to be here with coffee in hand ready to go even if everybody else isn’t.”

Pavan said that Linker Logic has experienced some difficulties, such as teamwork, but there is one major obstacle still blocking the company’s way forward.

“We’re right in the center of being a startup and being a full on company,” Pavan said. “That’s the biggest struggle right now because the transition is difficult.”

Age doesn’t seem to be a problem for Pavan’s team or his clients either. One employee, 18-year-old Leesville Road High School senior Mason Robertson, said his lack of experience wasn’t a problem for Pavan.

“I see him as a mentor,” Robertson said. “He knew (I wasn’t) the complete best, but he was aiming to build a community of a common age and mindset.”

Pavan said he looks beyond age when adding people to the team.

“More than your skill and talent, I look a lot at character and motivation,” Pavan said. “If you’re a motivated person of high character I believe you can make anything that you want to happen, happen.”

Even though Pavan is now a full-time student at UNC, said he still notices the reaction his clients get when they discover the team’s ages.

“Usually the look on their face is priceless,” Pavan said. “As soon as we’ve shown up the work that we’ve done, age is not a barrier.”

Jackson said he doesn’t see the team’s age as a barrier.

“As an older man, you would be hesitant to deal with high school-aged kids,” Jackson said. “But the unique thing that they brought to the table was their ability to listen, understand and implement what I was trying to do.”

Hill reiterated the sentiment.

“There’s an old soul in these young guys,” Hill said. “It surprises me that you have a group of creative people that have this much knowledge about app development at such a young age and they’re still able to see the big picture.”

Pavan said he wants Linker Logic to reach out to companies making advancements in artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, internet of things and virtual reality and expand to an international clientele.

“I made that commitment to myself where I said that if there’s something I want to do, I’m going to make it happen,” Pavan said.



Monrose named Kenan Distinguished Professor

July 5, 2017

Professor Fabian Monrose was named a Kenan Distinguished Professor, effective July 1, 2017. The Kenan Distinguished Professorship will provide Monrose’s salary, benefits and additional research funds.

The announcement from the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost said the following of Monrose:

“Fabian Monrose is a computer security researcher extraordinaire. He is an internationally recognized leader in the field and known for the unusual creativity in, and interdisciplinary approach to, his research. He has become a “go to” authority for Federal policy makers and Federal cyber-crime investigators, and his work has influenced how products such as Skype are designed. He is an award-winning researcher, an award-winning teacher, an inventor and an entrepreneur. Moreover, as a member of an underrepresented minority, he gives back to his community of origin through educational outreach and mentoring of junior scholars. And in his spare time he works with the UNC campus ITS security group to help protect the campus’ networks from newly emerging threats and attacks.”

Monrose was one of three Kenan Distinguished Professors named for 2017 and one of only six university faculty members to be recognized with a distinguished professorship this year. Monrose joins two other current Kenan Professors in the Department of Computer Science, James Anderson and Stephen Pizer, as well as department founder and Kenan Professor Emeritus Fred Brooks.

Computer science doctoral candidate helps make breakthroughs in sound simulation

June 30, 2017

June 30, 2017

Carl Schissler demonstrates a pair of Oculus VR goggles at a lab in Sitterson Hall on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

While the quality of visual images in video games and virtual reality continues to advance impressively with technology improvements, the sound and music quality of those games haven’t kept pace. A team of faculty and students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Department of Computer Science has been developing sound simulation technologies to overcome that barrier for almost a decade.

One doctoral student, Carl Schissler, has developed new practical solutions that can increase the sound quality using simulation methods and can even run on mobile platforms.

Schissler, an Asheville native working on his doctorate in computer science in UNC’s College of Arts & Sciences, has co-authored three patents and a number of papers based on his dissertation research to improve the quality of sound significantly in virtual environments. His work has drawn attention from Oculus VR, the virtual headset video game company, which has offered Schissler a position with the company.

“What we’ve been working on is simulating audio effects in virtual environments – realistic audio effects,” said Schissler, who also earned his bachelor’s degree in computer science at UNC-Chapel Hill. “I’ve always been interested in video games and video game technology, and one of the areas I felt that was really lacking was audio. I also had a big interest in audio because I was into recording music, and this was an intersection of those fields, so it was an interesting thing for me to work on.”

Schissler said his work developed through finding new ways to solve problems.

“My research is about is how audio waves moves through an environment and simulating that environment,” he said. “Depending on the type of environment you’re in, sound could be reverberant and have lots of echoes, or it can be less reverberant. It’s the difference of, say, being in an office environment, where it’s very still environment, or being in a church or cathedral, where there’s a lot of reverberation. It gives it a sense of space.”

While most of Schissler’s work is aimed for virtual settings, he also has studied how sound moves in real environments. He uses a 3-D scanner to capture the geometry and images of real-world room and uses that data to construct a virtual model of the same room for simulating sound effects.

“Once you have the 3-D model and the material properties, you can simulate how sound should propagate in that model,” he explained. “That’s useful for augmented reality – where you are adding virtual objects into the real world that you are viewing. You wear some glasses and some headphones, and you place some virtual objects in there, like holograms. With this technology, you can simulate how the virtual objects sound in the real world.”

Dinesh Manocha, the Phi Delta Theta/Matthew Mason Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at UNC-Chapel Hill, has worked with Schissler since Schissler’s undergraduate days on campus, and is currently supervising his doctoral dissertation.

“He’s done amazing work on sound simulation, Manocha said. “He’ll be finishing his doctorate in four years, when the average is usually five-and-a-half years, and developed a new set of methods for efficiently generating acoustic effects. Carl is amazing that he’s published so many papers in such a short time in the top conferences and journals. His work is well-regarded and is trend-setting in the field. I expect his work will have a strong impact in industry.”

“There’s very strong interest in Carl’s patents and software system, and the university may be licensing them,” he said. “Carl has really pushed the boundaries in terms of real-time sound simulation. It has applications in virtual reality, but it also has applications in computer-aided design of buildings and urban layouts.”

Manocha said that Schissler’s future job with Oculus is the pinnacle of achievement for someone working in sound and virtual reality.

“Oculus is one of the biggest names in virtual reality,” Manocha said. “They’ve opened a research lab in the Seattle area, which is currently regarded as on the best research labs in virtual reality.  Furthermore, they have a strong group in research related to sound simulation. Carl interned there over the last few summers and will join them in a month or so. His work is phenomenal; I’ve had the pleasure of working with many excellent doctoral students in 25 years here and Carl is among the very top.”

By Phillip Ramati, UNC System communications

Department of Computer Science celebrates 286 graduates at 2017 commencement ceremony

May 31, 2017
Emily Newman receives a certificate from Department Chair Kevin Jeffay in Carmichael Arena

On May 14, the UNC Department of Computer Science recognized 286 graduates in its annual commencement ceremony in Carmichael Arena.

The department recognized degree candidates for May 2017 as well as those who received degrees in August 2016 or December 2016. Among the 286 degrees conferred were 20 doctorates, 32 masters of science, 134 bachelors of science, 78 bachelors of arts and 22 undergraduate minors.

Sarah Rust, Luke Tannenbaum and Nancy Gao pose for a photo at the commencement reception in Sitterson Hall

Among the 234 undergraduates earning degrees from the department were two Morehead-Cain scholars, four graduating with honors, four graduating with highest honors, 10 Buckley Public Service Scholars and 16 members of Phi Beta Kappa.

In addition to degrees, the students presented annual awards for excellence in teaching. On behalf of the graduating undergraduate class, the Computer Science Club honored professor Montek Singh with the club’s Undergraduate Faculty Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching. Professors Vladimir Jojic and Jan Prins were recognized by the graduate Computer Science Student Association with the CSSA Excellence in Teaching Award.

Sarah Rust, a graduating master’s student, received the John M. Glotzer Teaching Assistant Award. Jeffrey Young became the second recipient of the department’s Learning Assistant Award, recognizing an outstanding undergraduate teaching assistant. Both students will have their names added to a plaque hanging in the lobby of Sitterson Hall.

Graduating computer science majors Nancy Gao and Morgan Howell delivered speeches reminding their classmates of how much technology has changed the world since they arrived in Chapel Hill and urged them not to underestimate the impact they can have even as individuals.

Jan-Michael Frahm and Jan Prins hood doctoral graduate Yilin Wang in Brooks Building

Earlier in the morning, the department held a doctoral hooding ceremony in Brooks Building. Doctoral graduates were recognized individually and hooded by their advisors and the director of graduate studies.

Hastings Greer adjusts Adam Aji’s cord as Brandon Davis watches in Sitterson Hall

Prior to the department-wide commencement in Carmichael Arena, all graduating students were invited to a reception in Sitterson Hall and Brooks Building, where they were served cake and ice cream by computer science faculty and alumni.

Photos of each graduating student were taken at Carmichael Arena by Photo Specialties. If you would like to purchase photos from the event, please email info@photospecialties.com or call 919-967-9576. You can also view a collection of department photos from the day on our SmugMug page.

Tech takeover: Will a robot put you out of a job?

May 26, 2017

If you haven’t spent much time thinking about whether robots are going to put you out of a job, well, you can be excused for that. Not many people do. But consider it for a minute and your next thought may be whether you need to go back to school.

According to recent studies, as many as half the jobs in our current economy could be automated by 2040.

NC State economist Mike Walden ran down the kinds of jobs that could be most in jeopardy in this new automated economy: everything from manufacturing jobs to retail to the restaurant industry.

NC State economist on jobs that could be in jeopardy

NC State economist Mike Walden on jobs that could be in jeopardy.

Walden also ran down the kinds of classes, courses, and majors that will put students in the best position to succeed once they graduate: mostly data driven and oriented toward statistics and math.

NC State economist on college and professional retraining

NC State economist Mike Walden on college and professional retraining.

Still, Walden says there is a place for liberal arts degrees and likely will be for the foreseeable future.

N.C. State economist on why liberal arts degrees still matter

N.C. State economist Mike Walden on why liberal arts degrees still matter.

In the new economy, many jobs that have been long-time staples in the economy are likely to change but some refuse to see it coming.

One area that futurists and economists agree will likely see tectonic shifts is transportation but talk to truckers, and you’ll find out they don’t think their jobs are in danger.

Why truckers aren’t too worried about robots

Truckers don’t feel robot technology is a serious threat to their industry.

People who are developing cutting-edge technology in robotics and automation say few areas will go untouched. Many predict truck drivers and cab drivers will be among the first replaced. But programmers say there are still a lot of considerations that need to be worked through before driverless automobiles become mainstream.

Considerations for driverless vehicles

Considerations for driverless vehicles

Students at colleges across the Triangle are working on solutions to myriad automation problems; everything from medical research to the creation of a robotic “assistant.”

UNC Professor Ming Lin showed ABC11 how automation is positioned to assist with cancer treatments.

UNC robotics professor Ming Lin on cancer research

UNC robotics professor Ming Lin discusses robots and cancer research.

Professors and students working in automation tend to be bullish on what it will mean for society in general and where economists such as Walden often give dire predictions about what robotics may mean for the workforce, many say just as many jobs will be created as killed by the new trends. And despite grave concerns for the potential economic downside of automation, those working with next generation robots say the best is yet to come.

How robots can learn

How robots can learn.

CS majors Kyle Asher, Grant Miller and Aneri Shah among students selected as Phillips Ambassadors for study abroad in Asia in 2017

April 20, 2017

Eighteen undergraduates from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and one undergraduate from Duke University have been selected as Phillips Ambassadors for summer and fall 2017 study abroad programs in Asia. In addition, one history doctoral candidate was awarded a Phillips Graduate Ambassador travel award for research in India and Malaysia this summer.

Undergraduate scholarship recipients will study in China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.

The Phillips Ambassadors program is part of UNC’s Carolina Asia Center, in association with the Study Abroad Office. Phillips Ambassadors are selected twice a year and receive $5,000 each. Selection is based on strong communication skills, intellectual curiosity and engagement, academic achievement, evidence of generous service to the campus and wider community, and a previous record of leadership.

Twenty-five percent of the scholarships are reserved for qualified undergraduate business majors and minors at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. Up to two scholarships each year are available to qualified Duke University undergraduates.

Phillips Ambassadors choose from more than 50 academic programs in Asia that are approved by the College of Arts and Sciences and UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. Scholarship recipients enroll in a three-credit hour global studies course designed uniquely for them. Led by Carolina faculty, the course challenges students to explore their study abroad locale in significant detail and seek understanding of the region in a global context.

A distinguishing feature of the program is an emphasis on what is called a “Give Back,” or sharing of one’s study abroad experience in Asia with the Carolina community and the student’s hometown. In accepting the scholarship, students agree to fulfill a Give Back related to their study abroad experience. Give Backs include endeavors such as published articles, classroom presentations at a student’s hometown high school, photo and art exhibitions, musical performances and group projects focused on Asia.

The Phillips Ambassadors program is made possible through a gift from Carolina alumnus Earl N. “Phil” Phillips, an entrepreneur and former U.S. ambassador, and his family.

“Our goal with this gift has been to encourage more students to spend their study abroad experiences focused on Asia — an increasingly vital region of the future,” said Phillips, who splits his time between High Point and Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

The first group of Phillips Ambassadors studied abroad in Asia in the summer of 2007. By the end of 2017, 289 Carolina undergraduates will have studied abroad in Asia as Phillips Ambassadors.

The new Phillips Ambassadors are listed below alphabetically by North Carolina county, followed by out-of-state recipients.



Grant Miller of Ocean will study through the National University of Singapore School of Computing fall program. He is a computer science major with a music minor.


Maria Martinez Ospina of Greensboro will study through the National University of Singapore Arts and Socials Sciences fall program. She is a psychology major with a chemistry minor.


Kyle Clapper of Cullowhee will study through UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Chinese University of Hong Kong summer program. He is a business administration major.


Kyle Asher of Charlotte will study through the CET Beijing Intensive Language summer program. He is a Chinese and computer science double major.

Chichi Osunkwo of Charlotte will study through the Yonsei University summer program. She is a media and journalism and global studies double major.


Nico Krachenfels of Chapel Hill will study through the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School International Internship in Hong Kong summer program. He is a business administration major with an entrepreneurship and Spanish for the business professions double minor.

Kristen Lee of Carrboro will study through the UNC Entrepreneurship in Shanghai summer program. She is an interdisciplinary studies in food systems planning major with a business administration and urban studies and planning double minor.


Everette Lassiter of Greenville will study through the Chinese University of Hong Kong summer program. He is a business administration and public policy double major with an entrepreneurship minor.


Lydia Field of Raleigh will study through the CET Harbin Intensive Language summer program. She is an Asian studies and global studies double major with a neuroscience minor.

Samantha Hutchings of Cary will study through the CET Beijing Intensive Language summer program. She is an Asian studies and English double major.

Aneri Shah of Apex will study through the National University of Singapore School of Computing fall program. She is an information science and computer science double major with a linguistics minor.



Brandon Dawson of Middletown will study through the UNC Summer in India program. He is a public policy major at Duke University.


Khaleelah Elhajoui of Sarasota will study through the UNC Summer in Japan program. She is a linguistics and Asian studies double major.


Scott Diekema of Iowa City will study through the UNC Summer in India program. He is an Asian studies and economics double major with an entrepreneurship minor.


Olga Prokunina of Rockville and Moscow, Russia, will study through the SIT Community Health and Traditional Chinese Medicine summer program. She is a psychology major with a medical anthropology and chemistry double minor.


Stephen Zawada of Groton will study through the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Chinese University of Hong Kong summer program. He is a business administration major.


Catherine Lucchi of Scranton will study through the UNC Summer in India program. She is an Asian studies major with an education minor.


Cathleen Rueckeis of Berlin, Germany will study through the National University of Singapore Science fall program. She is a quantitative biology major with a chemistry and astronomy double minor.


Zardas Shuk-man Lee, a doctoral candidate in history, will conduct research in India and Malaysia this summer.

Learn more about the Phillips Ambassadors.