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Alumni Profiles

Juliana Powell

An update from ambassador Juliana Powell (Japan ’15):

“I graduated my MS program in Speech and Hearing Sciences in May 2019 and I am now a licensed Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) in the state of NC after passing my board exams in January 2019 and October 2019! After graduating from a clinical master’s program, an SLP must complete a Clinical Fellowship Year (or part time equivalent for 1.5 years, which is my situation) in order to be fully accredited by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). After the fellowship you are a fully independent clinician with a Certificate of Clinical Competency.

And actually, I am very fortunate regarding the Fellowship I am completing. Being in Velopharyngeal Disorders and Craniofacial Management is a very specialty area for an SLP, and a very uncommon fellowship. There are only two, but famous, fellowships for this area in our field that run annually. I was one of the final applicants for the Craniofacial Fellowship at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, but ultimately was not picked. This worked out well, however, because the team here at UNC also does research with the team in Columbus, and the Principal Investigator for the UNC research had funding for a fellow and needed a study coordinator. Therefore, I was able to accept a position here as a part time Clinical Fellow and a near full time Lead Study Coordinator of a multi-site, longitudinal study funded by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

Needless to say, for those of you who know me well, I am always happiest doing two totally different things at once, so this is the most ideal job for me right now. My next step toward my long term goal is to take the MCAT in May, and apply to medical schools starting in the summer (for the first time).”

Juliana Ruth Powell, MS, CF-SLP

Clinical Fellow

Oral & Craniofacial Health Sciences

Study Coordinator, Speech Research Lab

UNC-CH Craniofacial Center


Patrick Dowd

Originally from East Bend, NC, Patrick studied abroad in India as a Phillips Ambassador in 2009. After graduating from UNC in 2010 with a double major in English and interdisciplinary studies, Patrick pursued a master’s degree in international education development at University of Pennsylvania. There he focused on indigenous education and language revitalization in Tibet and the Tibetan-speaking Himalayas.

After completing his degree, Patrick spent a significant amount of time in the Ladakh region to oversee the writing, publication and distribution of an original Tibetan language children’s book designed for young Ladakhis. The children’s book, which maintains the grammar and spelling of literary Tibetan but uses extensive colloquial, vernacular Ladakhi, was the first of its kind and seeks to provide Ladakhi-centric, culturally relevant education. This important work was funded by a $10,000 grant Patrick applied for and received as part of the Phillips Ambassadors Program’s tenth anniversary celebration in 2017. He recently shared a copy of the book with the program during a visit to campus and it is beautiful!

Patrick is currently in his second year of a doctoral program at The University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver where he is a Killam Doctoral Scholar, UBC Public Scholar, and Liu Scholar. He recently published an article in the peer-reviewed British journal Book 2.0 about the book project he oversaw in Ladakh. Thank you to Patrick for giving the Phillips Ambassadors Program a special mention in the article! Patrick’s article, “Linguistically and culturally relevant education on the roof of the world: The collaborative creation of a Ladakhi storybook” should be available for open access soon.

While at UBC Patrick also curated and oversaw an exhibition entitled “Golden Letters Arrayed like Stars and Planets: The Tibetan Culture of Language and Letters.” The official exhibition opening and reception in fall 2019 was attended by 100 people. The event was cosponsored by the local Tibetan monastery, Tsengdok Monastery, where Patrick has close ties, as well as the Tibetan Cultural Society of British Columbia. The exhibition opening was also sponsored by 5 different departments, programs, and institutes at UBC. At the opening, Patrick read from his longform, literary non-fiction essay, “How the Sacred Treasure of Literacy Came to Tibet” which was published in the winter 2019 issue of the magazine Buddhadharma, one of the largest North American Buddhist publications.

In 2019, Patrick was also awarded a grant from the UBC Language Science Research Cluster in order to translate 40 stories on the Storybooks Africa platform from English into Tibetan with two local Tibetan colleagues. The team will next record the stories being read in the two eastern dialects of Tibetan and publish them on a new domain. This project, while only in its nascent stage, has been very well received by the Tibetan communities in North America, South Asia, and China. See the translated stories here.


Update from February 2021:

Patrick has published essays and articles that have recently been made available online. One is an extensive biography of an important Ladakhi historical figure named Bakula Rinpoche:

The other two are more literary nonfiction pieces pertaining to important mythological stories in the Tibetan cultural world: