Paper Airplanes founder Bailey Ulbricht ’15 to present 2019 Honors Convocation

May 24, 2019
By Leander Cohen '22

Bailey UlbrichtBailey Ulbricht ‘15, the founder of an organization that connects refugees around the world to college students in the United States to foster educational and cultural exchange, will present the college’s annual Honors Convocation on Friday, May 31, at 3 p.m. in the Skinner Memorial Chapel.

A cherished Carleton tradition, Honors Convocation draws the campus community together to celebrate the academic accomplishments of Carleton students and faculty. The event begins and ends with a full academic procession, including faculty emeriti, honors students, and recipients of awards and grants. Following remarks by President Steven Poskanzer, Dean of the College Beverly Nagel and Dean of Students Carolyn Livingston, Ulbricht will speak.

Ulbricht is the founder of the groundbreaking NGO Paper Airplanes. Serving conflict-impacted students in need, the organization’s mission is to bridge gaps in language, higher education, and professional skills training by harnessing virtual learning technology and the benefits of peer-to-peer connections.

As a student at Carleton, Ulbricht served as a captain of the women’s soccer team and a three-year head delegate of the college’s Model UN team, and was a 2015 student representative on the College Council Board. She also worked as a Career Center advisor and led the “30 Minutes” program, where she coordinated advertising, alumni correspondence and recruiting.

After graduating magna cum laude with a BA in political science and international relations, Ulbricht worked as a Fulbright English teaching assistant in Manisa, Turkey, where she established a Turkish language instruction program for Syrian students living in Turkey, matching Turkish university students with their Syrian counterparts. She recently received an MA in Islamic law from SOAS, University of London.

After Ulbricht’s Paper Airplanes was mentioned by Samantha Power, former United States ambassador to the United Nations, in a February 2016 speech, the organization grew from a small Carleton-focused project to one that now includes 250 tutors from more than 100 colleges and universities across the United States. It has since been written about by USA Today, Teen Vogue, and the Star Tribune.