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The Department of State and External Affairs hopes to foster a close connection between UNC and the surrounding Chapel Hill community, as well as on a state, federal, and international level. The office aims to further connections between the student body and policy making institutions holding accessibility and inclusivity in highest regard.

The department’s priorities include:

  1. Work with the intention of ensuring things are inclusive and accessible for UNC students
  2. Engage with the student body in order to obtain a consensus on issues related to policy on a state, local, federal, and international level. 
  3. Take a student delegation to Washington DC in order to advocate for issues directly impacting students, speaking to the NC representatives. In the past this included advocating for student mental helath and raising awareness for accessibility issues on campus. 
  4. Hold a Lobbying workshop. The goal of holding a lobbying workshop would be to help students understand the relationship between lobbying and policy, from more than a political perspective.
  5. Work with local institutions that impact students to build and foster positive connections. 

Ryan S. Kalo (he/she)

Co-Director of the Department of State and External Affairs ||

Ryan S. Kalo is a senior studying Religious Studies and Linguistics. His research, Catholic Contraceptives and HIV/AIDS, was invited by his department to be presented in their symposium and later received the Halperin-Schütz Essay Award. She has also worked with the Language Development Lab this past spring. He has been involved in language learning throughout his life, taking courses ranging from Portuguese to Biblical Hebrew, where she has since used his translation skills to aid in language accessibility while a Case Management Intern at the New Arrivals Institute.


Gowri Abhinanda  (she/her)

Co-Director of the Department of State and External Affairs ||

Gowri is a junior studying Political Science and Journalism. A Florida native, she has worked within youth-led non-profit spaces focused on building intersectional solutions, community awareness, and youth power through skills workshops for students. As State and External Affairs Co-Director, she is excited to empower the student body to participate in local and state politics in meaningful ways.

Staff of the Department of State and External Affairs

Coming Soon!