Meet the 2017-2018 Eve Carson Scholars

Dear Carolina community,

We are delighted to announce our 2017-2018 Eve Carson Scholars: Drake Buxton, Leah Daniel and Riley Foster. They have each demonstrated a commitment to the university and their surrounding communities. We are so excited to watch them grow during their summer experience, senior year and beyond.


Drake, a public policy and journalism double-major, has been an active member of UNC’s Student Government throughout her time at Carolina. She has served as the Civic Engagement Chair, Executive Advisor to the Student Body President and a member of the Student Engagement Committee. She created a collaborative board between major student organizations to foster greater cooperation and engagement between students.  Drake further focused on working on student engagement on campus by helping to co-found Campus Connect, a digital publication aimed at effectively communicating major events and activities on campus to the Carolina community. This summer, Drake plans to work with the Awethu Project in Johannesburg, South Africa, a group that seeds and grows entrepreneurs in South Africa to empower them and create economic opportunity.


Leah is a psychology major pursing minors in both chemistry and Spanish for the medical professions. She spent last spring in Spain improving her Spanish fluency while volunteering with a local community group helping members learn English. She is passionate about improving healthcare in rural communities like the one she grew up in and plans to work in her native region of eastern North Carolina as an obstetrician-gynecologist for the Hispanic community. This summer, Leah will attend the National Rural Health Association’s national conference in San Diego where she will meet with policymakers and physicians who are creating real-life solutions to issues in rural health. She will then take that knowledge to work with her at the Edgecombe County Health Department with hopes to both understand how current policy affects rural healthcare and discover where additional legislation could improve current function. On campus, Leah is a Buckley Public Service Scholar, an Honors Mentor, Chair of Alumni Outreach for the Study Abroad Peer Advisors, and a member of Blank Canvas Dance Company.


Riley Foster is a born and bred Chapel Hillian double majoring in economics and public policy and minoring in French. She plans to work in the field of community economic development with the goal of using innovative policy and fiscal tools to build wealth and expand access to real economic opportunity in marginalized communities across the southern United States. Riley is a member of a number of organizations through UNC’s Campus Y and she mentors two Karen refugee families through the Refugee Community Partnership. This summer, she will be instituting a two-week College and Life Readiness Course for 25 rising eighth to twelfth grade refugee students. This program stems from the idea that access to higher education is instrumental to the socioeconomic improvement of the refugee community. As such, participants will be informed of the opportunities and benefits of higher education, equipped with the tools needed to pursue a degree, and taught essential etiquette and real-world skills. It will hopefully be the foundation for a long-term academic mentoring program between the refugee population and UNC student-tutors that will empower and uplift the Burmese, Karen, and Chin refugee populations.