“I came to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ready to be a small fish in a big pond, ready for a change and the challenge of establishing myself here,” said Taylor Doggett ’20, a rising senior in the UNC School of Media and Journalism.
When Doggett first drove up South Road to Carolina, it was love at first sight. “I was enchanted with Carolina…with the energy and the picture-perfect campus. Carolina became my number one choice,” she said.
The University’s strong academics, diverse enrichment opportunities and athletic excellence were each compelling factors in Doggett’s college decision-making process. However, it was her experiences through Project Uplift (PU) — a summer enrichment and college access program designed to promote and increase access to higher education — that solidified her decision. “Project Uplift gave me a space to exist and showed me that a community was waiting for me on campus. I met my best friend to this day at PU. She’s the first person I told that I got into UNC,” Doggett said.
Upon coming to Carolina, Doggett knew her ultimate goal was to serve as an advocate for social justice, but she was still in search of an area of study that would best serve her as a foundation. She attributed a simple conversation with a friend during sophomore year to setting her on the right path. “You love talking, reading and keeping up with current events,” her friend said. “You should be at the MJ-school.”
This comment ignited a new passion in Doggett. During her fourth semester, she hit the ground running with six classes in the MJ-school — and she loved all of them.
“At Carroll Hall…I felt connected to the material, to my professors and to my classmates,” Doggett said. “It’s a one-stop shop: classes, library, resources and student services are all under one roof.”
Her love for the MJ-school provided her with many opportunities, including the chance to study abroad.
“The MJ-school and study abroad staff encouraged me to travel globally and to apply to be a Phillips Ambassador. I was selected! The support helped make my trip financially feasible,” Doggett said. “I know people all over the globe now… I studied in Hong Kong and traveled to Cambodia, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam and Japan. What a learning opportunity!”
In addition to traveling, Doggett was able to take both journalism- and region-specific classes.
“This was taken along the walkway leading up to Angkor Wat, the main temple of the Temples of Angkor complex in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The country shifted between Hindu to Buddhist rule over time, so parts of the temples were altered depending on the religion of the ruler.”
“This was taken at a lookout point on the Sunset Peak trail on Lantau Island, Hong Kong. Lantau Island is west of where I lived and went to school on Hong Kong Island. I took a couple of subway lines to get to the trail, which was incredible and looked over the South China Sea.”
“This was taken in the mountains of Sa Pa, a town in Northern Vietnam. Sa Pa is famed for its rice terraces and rolling green mountains. I did a two-day trek over the Chinese New Year holiday.”
Learning in unique academic settings and immersing herself in new cultures helped Doggett develop skills that she will be able to apply as she begins to look for career opportunities.
“[After I graduate in May] my dream is to follow my passion to align strategic communications with social justice work and pursue a career in New York or DC.”
Wherever Taylor Doggett goes, she will go with confidence — her global experiences through Carolina’s study abroad programs and her home at Carroll Hall have set her up for success.