The Moxie Project

The Moxie Project is a combined academic and community engagement project that aims to place UNC students who have completed coursework in women’s activism with community organizations for summer internships to help them develop their own sense of activism and community engagement.

The Moxie Project at UNC is a selective, innovative, engaged curricular program in women’s history and activism that deeply connects scholarship and hands-on learning.

Undergraduates at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill apply to participate, and those chosen take a spring semester course about women’s leadership and activism.  For eight weeks in the summer, students intern in women’s organizations, nonprofits, and municipalities in the Research Triangle, and meet weekly for seminars in which they reflect on their week’s work, discuss related readings, and meet with the staff of the organizations to hear more about their work. Each student receives a stipend to support them during the summer, so that they can focus their attention on the program. Through this integrated academic and experiential program, students develop their leadership skills and deepen their engagement with the state of North Carolina.

Please email Shelley Gist Kennedy at with any questions about the program or application process.

We are excited to introduce our newest cohort of Moxie Scholars!

The 2018 Moxie Scholars are completing a spring course on Women and Politics (WGST/POLI 217) taught by Pamela Conover. During the summer, they will be working with Girls Rock NC, North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Pauli Murray Project, Town of Carrboro, and Women AdvaNCe.

Calissa Vicenta Andersen

Cal is a sophomore from Tampa, Florida. They are double majoring in Sociology and Public Policy. Calissa is a member of UNC’s Women’s Rugby Team.

Sophia Hutchens

Sophia is a sophomore from Shelby, North Carolina majoring in Communication Studies and Anthropology with a minor in Arabic Studies. In high school, she was the only girl on her school’s wrestling team!

Olivia Neal

Olivia is from Greensboro, NC, and recently transferred to UNC from NYU. She is a double major in English and Women’s and Gender Studies and she has a special interest in creative writing. Her academic interests lie at the intersection of language and activism, and in how we can use creative arts to advance a greater good and to share our stories. Olivia wrote and self-published a book of poetry last year and would like to publish more books in the future, both fiction and poetry. She is also interested in reading queer fiction, specifically in the young adult genre. She got her start in writing by competing in poetry slams at local music festivals, and she has a passion for celebrations of art and community. Olivia hopes that her work through the Moxie Project, as well as all of her academic pursuits, will allow her to use creativity and language to contribute to our local community and empower women and girls.

Katie Otto

Katie is a junior from Charlotte, NC. She is double majoring in Communication Studies, with a concentration in Media and Production Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies, with a minor in Creative Writing. Katie loves music, graphic design, and spending time with her friends and family. She also spent her fall semester in 2017 studying abroad in Sevilla, Spain!

Alexandra Smith

Alexandra is a sophomore from Holly Springs, NC. She is double majoring in Media and Journalism (with a concentration on Strategic Communication) and Hispanic Linguistics, with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. Fun fact–Alexandra and Google share the exact same birthday!

Tessa Wood

Tessa is a junior from Greensboro, NC. She is majoring in Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies. Tessa has an obsession with thrift shopping, loves golden doodles, and is culturally Arabic on her mom’s side. She attended The Early College and Guilford where her interests in Quakerism, spirituality, and public service were sparked and her admiration for education and change started.

Make a Gift to the Carolina Women’s Center here and select “Moxie Project” as the fund.