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Gap Experience welcomes members of Class of 2019

Fifteen incoming Elon University students began their collegiate studies on a semester program that takes them across the nation to grow leadership skills and serve communities with various needs.

The 2015 Gap cohort 'under the oaks' at New Student Convocation in Lander, Wyoming.

The Elon Gap Experience welcomed the first 15 members of Elon's Class of 2019 on Aug. 12 when students met in the Denver airport to begin their journey to Lander, Wyoming, home of the National Outdoor Leadership School and the kick off for their 26-day Leadership Expedition in the Wyoming back country

Carol Smith, a faculty member in the Department of Health and Human Performance, and Elizabeth Coder, assistant director of New Student & Transition Programs and coordinator of Gap Programs, facilitated an abbreviated orientation program, similar to what incoming first-year students will encounter when they arrive on campus later this week.

Students learned about the Elon Honor Code, academic expectations, campus resources and engaged learning.

Students also met their NOLS instructors, who will guide them throughout the Expedition. NOLS instructors will train the Gap students in leadership, environmental science and outdoor living skills. Students learned about the equipment they will need out in the back country, prepared their food rations, and packed their backpacks in preparation for their departure on Aug. 14. 

Gap students also participated in their very own New Student Convocation under the oaks at City Park in Lander, Wyoming, complete with letters of welcome from Elon President Leo M. Lambert and VIce President for Student Life and Dean of Students Smith Jackson. 

Throughout their 26-day Leadership Expedition, Gap students will hike about 75 miles through the Wind River Mountain Range in western Wyoming. After completing their NOLS course in early September, the cohort will embark on the second phase of their Gap Experience with four weeks of service-learning in South Dakota, Missouri, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. 

The members of the 2015 Gap cohort are: Henry Bost, Marta Djalleta, Anthony Fraden, Annie Gordon, Laurie Heggedal, Nathan Hunnicutt, Jack Kapes, Elizabeth McDonald, Lyn Nelson, Andrew Novinski, Krisandra Provencher, Jill Salvucci, Gabe Thornton, Eliza Upton and Marin Williams. 

Elizabeth Coder,
8/15/2015 10:10 PM