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Student Profiles

Tom Bennett

A native of Concord, North Carolina, Tom Bennett’s loyalties to UNC and North Carolina run deep. Both of Bennett’s parents are UNC-Chapel Hill graduates. While studying here, he enjoyed experiencing many of the same things his parents did, like going to UNC basketball games and frequenting one of their favorite Franklin Street establishments, Linda’s. 

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Chief Operating Officer

Removing Hurdles for Military Families

Jennifer Barnhill is using her experiences with the online Master of Public Administration at UNC to create a new pathway for military families with special education needs—and leaders at all levels are taking notice.

After 15 years of relocations, deployments, and dealing with military bureaucracy, Barnhill took solace and found great camaraderie in her military spouse support group but couldn’t shake the idea that it wasn’t checking all the boxes.

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IT Director

Building on 20 Years of Service

When Elizabeth Lo was exploring options for online public administration programs, she based her interest and ultimate selection on three factors: reputation, network, and curriculum.

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Class of 2022

Many people discover their calling through trial and error in college. Tiffany Oliva discovered hers as a child, through seeing health inequity up close, in her family.


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Valerie Sauer attended Appalachian State University before transferring to UNC-Chapel Hill and earning her undergraduate degree in political science, with a double minor in public policy and Hispanic studies in 2016. Building on her internship and volunteer experience in social services, Sauer began working as a client services coordinator for the Family Justice Center in Alamance County, NC. In this role, she worked directly with individuals seeking help for a wide range of situations, from domestic violence to human trafficking.

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Mallory Verez is originally from Pittsburgh, PA, but completed her undergrade degree at High Point University in December of 2017. After graduation she returned to the Steel City, eager for some real-world experience. She found it in a service position with Public Allies, where she was placed in an afterschool program focused on youth development.

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