UNC awards first Eve Carson scholarship

Posted February 6, 2009 11:11 a.m. EST

— A University of North Carolina junior has been named the first Eve Marie Carson Scholar.

The scholarship will allow Elinor Benami, of Knoxville, Tenn., to attend a summer experience after her junior year and will provide financial aid equivalent to in-state tuition during her senior year.

Carson, the 2007-08 UNC-CH student body president, was kidnapped, robbed and shot to death near campus last March. Two Durham men have been charged with murder in the case.

The crime stunned the UNC community, and a student committee designed a scholarship program in Carson's honor to recognize balanced, ambitious students who have shown strong involvement in a leadership role at UNC. Benami was chosen from 138 applicants for the inaugural award.

"Elinor was chosen for the breadth and depth of her passion," said senior Andy Woods, director of the scholarship's executive committee. "She has done a ton of work with the environment, and she has demonstrated a commitment to leadership and service while still pursuing her passions."

Benami is double-majoring in international studies and economics in the College of Arts and Sciences and plans a career in environmental consulting. She is in the honors program and North Carolina Fellows, a leadership development program, and she co-chairs the Student Government Environmental Affairs Committee, which collaborates with students, faculty and staff to promote key environmental principles, encourage sustainable lifestyles and facilitate cooperation between student environmental groups and the University.