Zeroed In: Where Are They Now? Former Community Events chair uses skills gained from UNC-DM in Italy and D.C.

2 Jan

By Megan Turner

On the first day of each month, be sure to look for this blog post:”Zeroed In: Where Are They Now?” where we feature a past Overall Committee member who shares the ways in which UNC-DM has impacted his or her post-Carolina life. This month, learn about 2005 Community Events committee chair Mary Grace Hicks. 

Check out the newsletter for a link to this blog post as well as more UNC-DM stories. To subscribe to the newsletter, email Kaylee Baker ( To view it, visit

Photo Caption: Photo Courtesy of Mary Grace Hicks: Hicks enjoyed a visit from her UNC-DM friends while working at Borgo Finocchieto. From left to right: Liz Kelly (UNC-DM Fundraising Chair), Julia Shalen (UNC-DM Overall Coordinator), Alison Ross (UNC-DM Hospital Chair), Brooke Ebel (UNC-DM University Relations Chair), and Mary Grace Hicks.

As the 2005 Community Events committee chair, Mary Grace Hicks gained valuable experience that led her to Italy and now back to UNC to pursue a Master of Business Administration. .

Hicks initially signed up to dance to meet new people, but soon realized the cause was one she wanted to stay involved in. She served as a member of the Publicity committee and as a sub-chair of the Fundraising Projects committee before becoming the Community Events chair. Within these committees, Hicks painted cubes, banners and designed three years of dancer t-shirts.

After graduating, Hicks moved to Italy to work as a writer and researcher for Borgo Finocchieto, a small resort in Tuscany. She created an in-room guidebook with information about the area.

In 2007, Hicks moved to Washington, D.C. as Borgo Finocchieto’s Manager of Marketing and Business Development. To enhance her skills, she enrolled at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School in the summer of 2011.

The work Hicks did as a member of the Overall Committee was vital to role in the workforce and in pursuing her MBA. As chair of the Community Events committee, she said she learned how to “network with the community, grow awareness about the UNC-DM cause and build the UNC-DM brand,”

“Now that I am in business school, I frequently work in and sometimes lead diverse teams. UNC-DM is where I first learned to harness these strengths,” she said.

Besides the career experience, Hicks made lifelong friends through UNC-DM. “Working on a cause this important is a way to develop deep, lasting friendships because you really know the character of those people,” Hicks said. “Working together was fun and we leaned heavily on one another for support in our individual projects,” Hicks said. “I never had to ask twice for help with anything.”

Another benefit was knowing she was helping a truly worthwhile cause. When the OC met to decide what grants should be funded, Hicks said she saw the importance of everyone’s hard work. “There were hundreds of worthy projects that would make life in the hospital better for families,” she said.

Through all Hicks’s experiences she has realized UNC-DM had such a large impact because of the supportive campus. “It makes me proud to be a Tar Heel,” she said.


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