Caryn Benisch, Bates College

A political science major from Huntington, N.Y., Caryn Benisch won four varsity letters with the Bates College women’s tennis team and was an immediate factor, playing at no lower than the Bobcats’ third singles and second doubles positions over her entire career, and competing at the first singles spot for the majority of her four years. She served as the team’s captain in both the 2007-08 and 2008-09 academic years.

Benisch didn’t allow her dedication to the women’s tennis team at Bates diminish her academic efforts. Benisch was the 2008 George L. Wigton Scholar Athlete Award winner for her work designing and directing a tennis workshop for underprivileged children in Cairo, Egypt, a project dependent on her proficiency in Arabic. The title of her thesis was “Pawns in the Midst of Political Conflict: An Inquiry into Life in the Occupied Golan Heights.” A two-time NESCAC Spring All-Academic selection, Benisch was honored as one of 28 members of the 2009 class of the prestigious Bates College Scholar-Athlete Society.