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Will McInerney ’11 has been awarded a prestigious Gates Cambridge Scholarship, which provides full support for graduate study at the University of Cambridge in England.

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship supports scholars in a variety of fields with outstanding intellectual ability and the potential to be transformative leaders.

McInerney, from Chapel Hill, graduated from Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in peace, war and defense. A member of Phi Beta Kappa and Honors Carolina, McInerney researched arts and peace education and discovered the power of poetry in the classroom. He went on to work as a poet and educator, performing and teaching worldwide; a journalist and producer with WUNC-FM, focusing on peace and conflict stories; and executive director of a spoken word poetry and peace education nonprofit in Chapel Hill called Sacrificial Poets.

As McInerney began to focus on the problem of men’s violence against women, he returned to UNC as an employee to develop and help facilitate the UNC Men’s Project, a men’s violence prevention program for undergraduate and graduate students. In recognition of his work, he was awarded a Rotary Peace Fellowship to study conflict resolution from the University of Bradford in England, earning a master’s degree in 2018.

McInerney will pursue a Ph.D. in education at Queens’ College of Cambridge. He will continue to research the value of creative educational approaches, specifically spoken word poetry, in men’s violence prevention education.

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