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Graduate receptions offer a chance to reflect before Commencement

On their last full day as Elon seniors, students in Elon’s four undergraduate schools mingled with classmates and faculty at graduate receptions hosted by their respective schools.

The one-hour receptions provided students the chance to introduce parents to faculty mentors, laugh with friends and share their plans for life after tomorrow’s Commencement ceremony.

Christina Cooper, Catherine Ross and Luci Strauss – roommates and strategic communications majors – lined up as their parents snapped photos and reminisced about the fun they’ve had as roommates and also the shared projects they’ve tackled together.

The women partnered with other Elon students to create a public relations campaign for Loaves and Fishes, a local nonprofit. The group researched, conceived and produced the campaign; they presented the client with a 100-page plus report outlining their findings and recommendations.

“It was rewarding to be able to give back to the community after living here for so long,” Ross said.

Not only that, but the final product will be an asset in interviews with future employers, said Cooper, who will complete a marketing internship this summer before traveling to Costa Rica to improve her Spanish language skills.

Across campus, students in Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Education gathered outside their schools’ porches sipping pink lemonade and nibbling on cookies.

Elizabeth Saffelle, an elementary education major, stood with her parents and her younger sister, Katherine, a first-year Elon student.

“I’ll miss being a part of such a warm community,” she said. Mentoring has been a hallmark of Saffelle’s Elon experience. She even has the phone number of her student teaching coordinator plugged into her cell phone.

After tomorrow’s ceremony she’ll travel back to her hometown of Richmond, Va. to begin a master’s degree in education. While she studies, she’ll work part-time as a kindergarten assistant in order to continue her work in the field.

While Jamie Albinson, a computer science major, discussed his plans for the future, his family laughed with Joel Hollingsworth, a senior lecturer in computing sciences.

“I worked with Joel on a project with the art department,” Albinson said. “We built a robot that would fill in tally marks over a painting done by an art professor. You’d get close to a painting in another building and it would draw a tally mark over Arts West.”

Albinson will move back to Washington, D.C., this summer to pursue a career as a software developer.

As the graduate receptions came to a close, Daniel Maroney, a business administration major with a concentration in finance, said he had no doubt that transferring to Elon three years ago was the perfect decision for him. He wanted a school with small classes and accessible faculty; he found it at Elon.

“I just finished my investments class, and honestly, it was literally one of the hardest classes I’ve ever taken,” he said. The class included a stock market simulation exercise that helped Maroney wrap his head around the complexities of the market.

The hands-on nature of the project clarified the concept. “It’s hard to conceptualize until you do it,” Maroney said.

 

 

Katie DeGraff,
Staff
5/20/2011 5:34 PM