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Elon staffer named one of Triad’s top young leaders

Darris Means, the assistant director of the Elon Academy at Elon University, has been named one of the Triad’s “40 Leaders Under Forty” by a weekly regional newspaper that covers the business community.

Darris Means

The Triad Business Journal recognized Means for his dedication to making a positive difference in the Triad and in the lives of others. The 10th annual award celebrates the successes of some of the area’s most prominent young professionals.

“My career and my civic engagement work are devoted to college access, equity, and diversity,” Means, 24, said. “Being recognized for this award means that these themes are still critical in our community and in our society. And it means that I still have a lot of work to do and a lot of collaboration that I need to make happen.”

Means helps coordinate the Elon Academy, a college-access program for academically talented high school students in Alamance County. He graduated Elon in 2005 with a degree in political science and sociology and received a graduate degree in counseling education, with an emphasis in student affairs, from Clemson University in 2007.

Means served a two-year term on the Elon University Board of Trustees as the Youth Trustee. He also serves on the Alamance County Closing the Achievement Gap Committee, the American College Personnel Association’s Commission for Social Justice Educators, the North Carolina College Personnel Association, the Elon University Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Elon University’s Young Alumni Council and is Elon University's Pi Kappa Phi Chapter Advisor.

“He is intelligent, hardworking, and passionate about serving others,” Deborah Long, Means’ supervisor, wrote in his nomination. “As a student, and now as a member of the Elon Academy staff, he has distinguished himself as a leader with great character.”

Recipients of the “40 Leaders Under Forty” were recognized at a Feb. 27 ceremony and each recipient will be featured in the Triad Business Journal on Feb. 29. It is the second year in a row that an Elon staff member was named to the list. Alan Woodlief, associate dean for admissions and administration for the Elon University School of Law, was honored in 2007.

Eric Townsend,
2/28/2008 9:33 AM