Elizabeth Boney, a Western Carolina University student who also works in Chancellor David O. Belcher’s office, has been selected as a University of North Carolina system presidential scholar.
Formerly known as presidential interns, the presidential scholars serve a one-year appointment following graduation and provide a wide range of professional functions for the UNC General Administration. They have regular interaction with senior leadership and members of the UNC Board of Governors, are involved with research, writing and policy implementation and are assigned to various projects throughout the year, where they get to work in-depth to hone professional skills and gain real-world experience.
“Our presidential scholars program provides an important opportunity for recent UNC graduates to develop leadership and professional skills by engaging in special projects overseen by our senior managers,” said UNC system President Margaret Spellings. “We look forward to Elizabeth joining our team as we seek to strengthen higher learning and identify solutions that help North Carolinians reach their full potential.”
Boney, a political science major who will be graduating this semester, is from Fuquay-Varina and says she is excited about the opportunities available within the prestigious position. “I’ll work on a variety of things with a variety of departmental offices, from UNC president to chief of staff, to academic affairs, legal affairs and communications, at first,” she said. “Later, I’ll be able to concentrate on the aspect I find most appealing.”
Largely self-directed, the internship role lends itself to students who are motivated, intellectually curious and not afraid to take risks. With access to high-ranking university officials, presidential scholars have the opportunity to explore and understand the inner workings of an institution of higher learning.
Boney will live in nearby Durham during her internship while working in Chapel Hill. At WCU, she is president of the Chancellor’s Ambassadors, an elite student volunteer organization that promote and strengthens Catamount pride, assists the chancellor at select events and networks with prominent alumni and community leaders; and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.
“Western and the political science curriculum has helped prepare me, not only to be a presidential scholar, but for life,” she said. “The involvement in student organizations and my sorority helped me build relationships and allowed me to be around strong female leaders, showing me how to carry myself and be confident.”