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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. 

For all SEA inquiries, please contact


Ryan S. Kalo (they/he/she)

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

Ryan S. Kalo is a senior studying Religious Studies and Linguistics with a minor in Cognitive Science. Her research, Catholic Contraceptives and HIV/AIDS, was invited to be presented by his department and later received the Halperin-Schütz Essay Award. He worked with the Language Development Lab this past spring. While at UNC she has been involved in language learning, taking courses ranging from Portuguese to Biblical Hebrew, where she has since used her translation skills to aid in language accessibility.


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.