Three students selected as 2017 Carolina Blue Honors Fellows

Three students from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill were selected as recipients of the 2017 Carolina Blue Honors Fellowship to pursue unique and self-initiated summer internships built around international sports entrepreneurship.

The Carolina Blue Honors Fellowship was established in 2015 with a gift from UNC-Chapel Hill alumnus Ricky May. Its purpose is to recognize ambitious undergraduate students who possess a strong work ethic and sense of adventure, and it is open to all Carolina students who meet the eligibility criteria. The fellowship provides up to $5,000 to fund individuals who seek to gain experience in the business of sports while traveling abroad and supporting the growth of a small venture.

Ricky shares, “I’m excited for Megan, Christian and Nina and hope that each of them has a life changing experience this summer as a Fellow. I know they will leave behind a piece of Carolina with their host companies and communities.”

To be selected as a Carolina Blue Honors Fellow, an applicant must provide convincing evidence of a long-standing interest in sports and an entrepreneurial spirit through an application, recommendation letters, and an interview. The proposed fellowship experience should enable students to embark on a summer internship focused on learning and working in the business of sports, with particular preference for an entrepreneurial setting.

Christian Abbonizio, a third-year student studying economics in the College of Arts and Sciences, will use the fellowship to cover his expenses for travel to Melbourne, Australia to work with the sports data company Genius Sports during summer 2017.

Christian, class of 2018, from Downingtown, PA, is an entrepreneur in the sports industry and hopes to utilize his experience to improve both account management and product development at Genuis Sports. He is currently the Chief Operations Officer at Daily Fantasy Insider LLC, a sports information business that he co-founded in 2016.

Megan Cain, a second-year student, will use the fellowship to cover her expenses while she interns at FanHub Media in Melbourne, Australia. FanHub creates digital platforms and experiences that enhance fans engagement for the sporting and entertainment industries. She hopes to gain a greater understanding of the significant sports and their place in Australian culture.

Megan, class of 2019, an Elks Most Valuable Student Scholar from Asheville, NC, is studying journalism, sports administration and entrepreneurship in the School of Media and Journalism. At UNC, she also coaches for Carolina Chaos Volleyball.

Nina Luker, a third-year student in the School of Media and Journalism, will use the fellowship to fund her travel to Cape Town, South Africa to intern at Varsity Sports this summer. The start-up company working to bring sports regulations and guidelines under one governing body, is similar to the NCAA in the United States. She plans to increase the public’s view of university sport and bring more spectatorship for South African university athletics.

Nina, class of 2018, is from Radnor, PA and is majoring in advertising with a minor entrepreneurship. Nina is also a member of UNC’s varsity rowing program.


Read more about the Carolina Blue Honors Fellowship here.