At a Glance

July 18, 2019 11:59 pm EDT

Current UNC graduate student (professional, masters or doctoral student), including international students

Fully-funded, professional development opportunity for a current graduate student to co-lead Global Take Off: Puerto Rico

Brandy Arellano

ID# 11092 | Last Updated: Tuesday, October 8, 2019


The Global Take Off: Puerto Rico Co-Leader takes part in a competitive professional development opportunity, co-leading the Global Take Off: Puerto Rico experience for a cohort of undergraduate students. The opportunity includes:

  • A fully funded trip to Puerto Rico to co-lead an interactive educational experience (all expenses for the entire program, including the trip, are covered). Tentative dates for the experience are December 14 – 20, 2019. Please note that this is a professional development experience and is not a paid graduate assistantship.
  • Collaborate with the Center for Global Initiatives’ Program Manager, the Institute for the Study of the Americas Executive Director, and partners in Puerto Rico
  • Career and personal development and networking opportunities, especially around teaching, leadership development, and mentoring

The Global Take Off: Puerto Rico program was established in 2015 and is made possible by a generous donation from UNC alumna, Maribel Carrion ’77, ’86 M.B.A., in honor of her sister, Marisela, who was also a UNC-CH alumna.

Applicant Profile

A strong applicant will need to be energetic, safety-conscious, globally experienced, and knowledgeable about one of the theme options (see theme section below). They should enjoy working with undergraduate students in a dynamic environment and should be able to motivate and engage students. Successful candidates will exhibit excellent personal leadership skills and have the ability to empathize, inspire, lead, mentor, educate, set limits, and enforce rules.

The ideal candidate will meet some combination of the following criteria:

  • Interested in learning about or having experience in Puerto Rico and/or Latin America
  • High proficiency or fluency in Spanish
  • Experience working with students in and out of the classroom (working with underserved students is preferred)
  • Patience, flexibility, and adaptability in a highly dynamic environment
  • An ability to assess risk and make smart decisions regarding the health, safety, and overall well-being of the group
  • A passion for travel, exploration, and the program theme

Hear important takeaways from three past Global Take Off participants and enjoy a compilation of photos and videos from the 2016 Global Take Off cohort. To see more photos from past experiences, visit the CGI Facebook and Instagram pages.


Be a current graduate student (professional, masters or doctoral student) including international students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


  • Tentative: Review applications to make final selection of students
  • Attend planning meetings, two pre-departure orientation sessions in the fall semester, two post-reflection sessions in the spring semester, and the program.
    • The co-leader can expect to spend roughly 30 hours in the fall semester and 15 hours in the spring semester on this commitment (excluding the trip)
    • The tentative dates are December 14 – 20
  • Create a syllabus with readings, videos, and homework, connecting the academic theme to the activities and the overall program experience
    • The co-lead will not be responsible for creating the programmatic activities. Instead, they will work with the program manager to select the most appropriate activities from previous experiences that align best with the theme.
  • Contribute towards accomplishing the following program outcomes for participating students:
    • Breaking real and perceived barriers to global opportunities; encouraging future global engagement
    • Assist in the development of intrapersonal, interpersonal, and intercultural competence
    • Empower and teach critical thinking and cognitive knowledge
    • Connect students to campus engagement opportunities to enhance their sense of belonging
    • Help students make connections to their academic and professional aspirations
  • Provide support for students, ensuring that students act responsibly, and communicating problematic situations to the co-leaders
  • Maintaining responsibility for the safety of student

Application Instructions

The application must be completed online, and you can view a preview of the full application before you begin. The application consists of the following:

  • Basic contact and background information
  • Contact information for two references (letters should not be solicited)
  • A CV or resume (PDF format)
  • A Cover Letter (PDF format) that answers the following questions:
    • Why are you interested in this opportunity?
    • What experience do you have with Spanish language, Puerto Rican culture, and/or Latin America?
    • Why did you choose your selected theme?
    • What experience do you have working with students who identify as minorities, low-income, transfer, student-parents, first-generation college students, or another underrepresented group? Read more about our Opening Access work for more information.


Each of the previous five Global Take Off: Puerto Rico groups have had a different theme. In order to create a sustainable and mutually-beneficial collaboration with our partners in Puerto Rico, we will be participating in the same activities and experiences during the trip. As the co-lead, you will be charged with connecting the academic theme of your choice with a variety of activities. Below are the theme options and examples of activities in which we can participate. Within the application, applicants must choose which of the following themes they would like to focus on and why:

  • Identity
    • Learn about Puerto Rican pride and local communities coming together to take charge of their hometown; explore a ceremonial indigenous heritage site and see how previous societies were structured; visit Samuel Lind‘s gallery, an Afro-Puerto Rican, internationally-recognized artist; explore race and politics within Puerto Rico; understand how identity is shaped in regard to Puerto Rico’s relationship with the United States.
    • Painting activity for students; dancing Bomba in Afro-Puerto Rican communities; visit art galleries and museums from various perspectives; tour Santurce’s street murals and art scene; learn about student groups at the University of Puerto Rico who participate in varying performing arts influenced by the Spanish.
    • Understand the influence of the African Diaspora in Puerto Rico; community visits to cultural centers in Piñones, Loiza, and Rio Piedras; exploring African inspired food and dances (Salsa and Bomba) and tying them to history.
  • Environment
    • Explore changes in Puerto Rican climate and recent natural disasters; visit community organizations that have been internationally recognized for their organizing and impact on the environment; visit a cave, kayak in mangroves and learn about bioluminescence organisms and light pollution; learn about the role of advocacy in marginalized communities whose air has been polluted by trash, toxic coal ash and landfills.
    • Learning about the role food plays in Puerto Rico’s economy, politics, society, and community initiatives; visit farmer’s markets and community gardens; explore an agricultural school; understand the policies that affect food sustainability and autonomy.

Application Timeline

  • Online application deadline: Thursday, July 18, 2019 at 11:59 p.m.
  • Application status notification: August 2019