Basnight to Join Minor as New Internship Director

Elizabeth BasnightChapel Hill, N.C. — Elizabeth Basnight has been tapped to direct the internship program for UNC-Chapel Hill's minor in entrepreneurship. She begins work June 8.

Basnight replaces Genny King, who leaves the position after two years to begin work with a nonprofit educational organization in India. King will work with CEI through June 30 to ensure a smooth transition.

The internship director manages the process of pairing students in UNC's minor in entrepreneurship with entrepreneurial companies and nonprofits and assists with a variety of other projects for the minor, including coordinating speaker visits and courses. Students in the minor work in organizations from North Carolina to Asia.

Basnight brings extensive experience in leadership development, community outreach, fund raising and international travel to the position. She received a bachelor of arts in history from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2007 with a minor in creative writing. She is a four-year participant in the NC Fellows Program, a program designed to accelerate and support the development of highly motivated undergraduate students with exceptional leadership potential through retreats and intensive leadership training seminars.

She received additional leadership training through the "Dynamics of Effective Leadership" seminar, a four-month program at UNC, and in UNC's Womentoring Program, a series of leadership-development seminars conducted by professional community members and UNC faculty and staff. In addition, Basnight completed a language and culture program at La Sorbonne in Paris in 2005.

Basnight comes to CEI from Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina, where she served as a healthcare assistant, and from the ARC of Orange County in Chapel Hill, where she has been a care provider. Her experience also includes community outreach work with KORSANG in Phnom Phen, Cambodia, where she assisted in delivering health-related services to injection drug users. In 2004, she established Cape Lookout Surfari in North Carolina, an overnight surf camp for middle- and high-school girls, which inspired her to establish an all-girls surf camp in Nicaragua in 2006 funded by a grant from the NC Fellows Program.

King has accepted a Sandbox Fellowship with the Deshpande Foundation to work with Vidya Poshak's Graduate Finishing School in India. The Deshpande Foundation is one of the leading philanthropic foundations in Massachusetts and India in the areas of innovation, entrepreneurship and international development.

The fellowship is a year-long program for professionals or post-graduate school candidates who have experience working in on-the-ground development or social entrepreneurship and are seeking to continue working on these issues. Vidya Poshak is a nonprofit organization that supports meritorious students who cannot continue their higher education due to financial obstacles and enhances students' future employability through skills and communication training.

King says she looks forward to using the skills she developed at CEI in her upcoming work in India. "Working with inspiring students, entrepreneurs and facu lty for the past two years as the internship director for the minor in entrepreneurship has been a transformative experience," says King. "This position gave me the opportunity to see how entrepreneurs are changing the world."