The School of Communications welcomes its 2011 class of Journalism and Communications Fellows. Fellows wrote their own mini biographies, which you can read below.
Brian Binder has lived his whole life just outside of Cleveland in the small town of Chagrin Falls, Ohio. During high school, he was an active member of the marching/concert band and also played varsity soccer and tennis. He was also the vice president of a student political organization. Brian gained a love for cinema at an early age by watching classic movies and creating short films with his friends. His passion grew in high school when Brian started creating film projects for school that were highly regarded by his teachers, three of them for Spanish class, which just happens to be his other passion. Brian is eager to find ways to express his talents at Elon in organizations like Cinelon and FreshTV, as well as trying to find opportunities abroad. The School of Communications at Elon is a perfect place to begin what he hopes will become a long career in the film industry. Brian plans to major in Media Arts & Entertainment, as well as minor in Spanish.
Katie Blunt cultivated an interest in communications and journalism during her four years at Severna Park High School in Severna Park, Md. She began as a staff writer for her school newspaper during her sophomore year, during which time she found an opportunity to interview a Sudanese refugee living just outside of her hometown. It was this experience that truly elevated her level of interest in journalism and prompted her to consider a career in the field. She served as editor-in-chief of the paper her final two years of high school, and she cannot wait to become involved with the Pendulum and complete her degree in Print/Online Journalism.
Julia Boyd is a graduate of The Paideia School in Atlanta and is thrilled to be joining the Elon community as well as the Communications Fellows. Throughout high school, Julia was the president of student government, participated in numerous school plays and was the pitcher and captain of the varsity softball team. She was a peer leader for freshmen, president of the Improv Club and a contributor to her school’s literary magazine. Julia has always had a passion for storytelling and personal narratives, and she looks forward to developing and expanding her knowledge during her time at Elon. She anticipates exploring all mediums of communication, from paper to film. She is excited to take advantage of the study abroad program as well as to get involved with the student television channel. Julia is planning to major in Media Arts and Entertainment and minor in International Relations.
Leah Channas graduated from Severna Park High School in Maryland and is absolutely thrilled to be a Communication Fellows. Leah was quite busy in school, as she participated in theater, dance, cross country and volunteer work. She played Juliet Capulet in a dual-high school version of “Romeo and Juliet” and was a part of more than nine school theater productions. She wanted to continue with her love for the camera, which led her to choose broadcast journalism as her major. She also hopes to minor in Spanish so that she can take her broadcasting to other parts of the world. Leah is certain that the Fellows will aid in her journey for success and is excited to begin college at Elon University in the fall.
Meghan Fackler is from Cheshire, Conn. In high school she was a captain of the varsity indoor track team and was involved in other activities, such as Link Crew and Peer Advocates. She also loves soccer, which she has been playing since she was 5 years old. She plans to continue being involved in sports at Elon. Meghan has always been passionate about writing, but it was not until later in high school that she realized her interest in communications and advertising and was able to explore it through the courses she took. She is excited to focus on strategic communications at Elon and looks forward to taking advantage of all that the School of Communications has to offer. She cannot wait to spend her next four years at Elon.
Devon Gailey comes to Elon University from the small town of Thomasville, N.C. As a student of Thomasville High School, she served as senior class president and participated in several community service based groups and activities. Through these experiences, she found that interacting with the local public was something she very much enjoyed. This love, paired with an unrelenting passion for the film industry, sparked an interest in the communications field. She became further interested in the exceptional communications based programs and facilities provided by Elon University. Devon hopes to study media arts & entertainment with a possible minor in theatre studies. She feels very honored to be a part of the 2011 Communications Fellows program and cannot wait to start getting involved around campus.
Tim Gillman attended Jesuit High School in Tampa, Fla. Throughout his four years at Jesuit, Tim discovered his immense interest in writing. While submitting multiple articles to his school's newspaper, Tim's true passion has always been in creative writing. He wrote a variety of short stories and aspires to one day write for television or write screenplays. He took an active leadership role at Jesuit through involvement in Student Council, National Honors Society, varsity soccer and numerous other clubs. He is confident that Elon's Communications Fellows Program will provide him the opportunity not only to become a more thoughtful and meaningful writer, but also a stronger, more well rounded individual.
Ryan Greene is from Ellicott City, Md., a suburb of Baltimore. She went to Mt. Hebron High School, where she was an active member in publishing the school's newspaper, The Mountain. She was a part of the journalism program for three years, rising from a staff member her sophomore year to one of two chief editors her senior year. Along with journalism, during high school Ryan participated in Class Board, Writing Tutors, National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society. While at Elon, she plans on majoring in journalism, though she is still unsure of which particular field she would most enjoy studying. Ryan also looks forward to involving herself around campus, which hopefully includes being a part of The Pendulum staff or Phoenix14News.
Kathleen Harper is from Naperville, Ill., a suburb located right outside Chicago. She graduated from Naperville North High School, where she was involved primarily in journalism and dance. Kathleen was on the dance team for four years and her team placed fifth in the state competition during her senior year of high school. During her junior year, Kathleen got involved with her high school newspaper, The North Star, and continued working on the paper all through her senior year. She began as a staff writer and worked her way up to an editor position by her senior year. Kathleen also won sectionals in features writing at a journalism competition and therefore qualified and attended the state competition. Kathleen has always had a passion for storytelling and a passion for writing and that is why she is so excited to be part of the Communications Fellowship community here at Elon. She plans on writing for The Pendulum, as well as appearing on Phoenix14News and other television programs, and taking part in Fresh TV. Kathleen will be majoring in journalism with a concentration in broadcasting. One day she hopes to be seen on a national news network.
Emily Hines was born in Louisiana and has moved around the United States but is coming to Elon from Basel, Switzerland, where she now calls home. She graduated from the International School of Basel, where she was captain of the varsity volleyball team and a member of the yearbook club. Emily enjoys photography and has spent her time abroad exploring Europe and even parts of Africa through the lens of her camera. With a strong interest in current events, politics and writing, Emily was co-editor in chief of her school’s Model United Nations newsletter and even had the privilege of reporting for the Paris MUN at the World UNESCO building. She feels that living abroad has given her a unique perspective on world issues that she hopes to share through her writing. Emily is looking forward to all that Elon has to offer in the School of Communications and looks to be a member of the Pendulum Staff.
Bradly Hinkle has lived in the beautiful city of Durham, N.C., all of his life and is excited to be a part of the Elon Communication Fellows program. Brad was a reporter for the Riverside High School newspaper, The Pirates' Hook, all four years of high school, where he served as an editor for two years. He has also always been interested video journalism. Additionally, Brad was a four-year letterman in lacrosse and plans on playing club lacrosse for Elon in the fall.
Patterson Huggins is a graduate of Myrtle Beach High school in Myrtle Beach, S.C. She also attended the Academy for the Arts, Science and Technology, majoring in Digital Communications. In the major, she was given the opportunity to study graphic design, HTML coding, animation and photography. She wrote and photographed a children’s book, designed an informational booklet about astronaut Barbara Morgan and created senior portfolios as her senior project. Even though she is passionate about photography, she plans on majoring in film because she wants to create a television series that will have a positive influence on the children and teenagers in our society. Outside of the communication field, Patterson was a captain on her JV and Varsity volleyball teams. She loves serving the community by volunteering at Vacation Bible School, performing mission work, designing flyers and posters and dancing at the children’s service at her church. She loves traveling and hopes to find the time to study abroad in Italy, England and Spain. Patterson is so excited to be attending Elon University and wants to get involved quickly with FreshTV and “Elon Tonight.”
Sergio Ingato was born and raised in Princeton Junction, N.J., and is very thrilled that he was chosen to be a Communications Fellow at Elon. In high school, Sergio was involved in a plethora of activities. Most notably, Sergio was president of both his Student Council and National Honor Society in his senior year at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South. He also was very involved in the stage productions at school, most recently portraying Nicely-Nicely in “Guys and Dolls.” But, Sergio’s true passion is television. Sergio cannot wait to have the opportunity to work with Phoenix14News and gain an abundance of knowledge from the Elon Communications professors. Sergio wishes to study abroad and gain as much experience as possible through Elon’s internship programs. Sergio’s dream is to one day be a television personality and he knows that Elon will help him achieve this.
Bia Jurema was born and raised in Recife, Brazil, and made her way to Doylestown, Pa., to start a brand new life. At Central Bucks High School West, she participated in the popular broadcast video program, “Chatter Bux,” airing every Friday for the entire school. Some of Bia’s videos made it to CBTV, the town’s local television channel. Bia was also a 3-year starter on the varsity girls basketball team, clinching the 2008-2009 MVP award. She was an active member of her school’s Student Government Organization and continued to participate in Key Club, her school’s community service group, where she spent her time volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. From yearbook staff to a member of Future Business Leaders of America, Bia has never been afraid to try anything. But after exploring many paths, she felt like her creativity was best suited for Communications. So, she has chosen to major in Media Arts & Entertainment to continue her passion, hoping that one day her dreams come alive. As a Presidential Scholar and a Communications Fellow, Bia is looking forward to bringing her ideas, energy and ambition to Elon and the entire Class of 2015.
Emma Kwiatkowski is from Mendham, N.J., and is very proud to be a Communications Fellow at Elon. She was the lead interviewer for her high school’s film crew, which put school events on the local television station. In high school, she was also a drum major in marching band and an emcee for school events. Emma realized she wanted to have a career in entertainment when she joined and loved participating in a local comedy improvisation troupe. She learned so many things in the four years she was part of the troupe and would love to continue improvisation at Elon. She cannot wait to participate in FreshTV, Phoenix14News, Elon Tonight and other activities when she gets to Elon. Emma also looks forward to studying abroad and participating in the Elon in LA program. She cannot wait to experience all the opportunities that await her at Elon.
Catherine Leonard currently resides in Hopkinton, Mass., but has also lived in Greenville, S.C., and Chardon, Ohio. She has displayed an interest for media arts since she was a young child. Even in grade school, Catherine could be found filming comedies with her best friends in her backyard or experimenting with stop-motion animation with her younger brother. This fun has truly blossomed into a passion over the years enhanced by taking two courses at her high school: Film & Television and Advanced Film. These classes, along with an Audio Production Summer Course, inspired Catherine and reassured her that Communications was the perfect field for her. Catherine dreams of working in the film or television industry. Catherine also loves to travel and cannot wait to study abroad and participate in Elon in LA. Although she is very sure of her Media Arts & Entertainment major, Catherine is open to all forms of communication. She wrote many articles for her school's newspaper during her Journalism class her senior year and would love to work with the Pendulum. She is very excited to participate in all that Elon has to offer, including: ESTV, WSOE, Pheonix14News and especially “Elon Tonight.”
Cate LeSourd is from Purcellville, Va., just outside of Washington, D.C. She graduated from Loudoun Valley High School, where she was Student Council vice president for community service, president of Spanish Club, co-founder of Photography Club and director of “Improvable,” the improv team at her local church. For the past five summers, Cate served on global mission trips to Peru, South Africa, Thailand, China, Israel and Jordan. Her passion for global and community service led to her interest in communications when she discovered the power of photography and the narrative story to share the challenges of those she met and served, such as Iraqi war refugees and human trafficking victims. In her junior year, she took a photography course with a National Geographic photojournalist who invited her to showcase her photographs in a state-wide photography exhibit. She expanded on her interest in communications by attending a summer program at Savannah College of Art and Design to study Graphic Design and Video/Film. Cate envisions herself using a variety of media to share the stories of people across the world and possibly to work alongside humanitarian non-profit organizations to capture and convey their messages. She is eager to begin working toward her career and looks forward to the experiences and opportunities that Elon and the Communications Fellows program offers.
Kyle Lynch is from Garden City, N.Y., where he graduated from Garden City High School. An avid sports fan, Kyle won a state championship with his soccer team during his senior year. He was the announcer for his school’s baseball team and had the experience of announcing a game with New York Mets public address announcer Alex Anthony. Living in New York, Kyle has had opportunities, such as attending a filming of “Saturday Night Live” and sitting in the production truck during a shooting of “The Maury Show.” He is eager to become a member of the FreshTV and WSOE radio teams. Kyle plans to major in Media Arts & Entertainment and is most excited about the opportunity to study in Los Angeles through the Elon in LA program.
Katie Maraghy was born and raised in Richmond, Va., and is very excited about joining the Elon community. She has had an interest in film and television for many years and is thrilled to have the opportunity to explore it further as a Communications Fellow. Throughout high school, Katie worked on the school newspaper and yearbook as both a writer and a photographer. She enjoyed delving into different forms of media and communication styles, as she worked on films for her Spanish, English and Senior Seminar classes. At Elon, she hopes to be a part of Phoenix14News and ESTV and work with her fellow communications majors in contributing to Elon’s incredible programs. She also hopes to travel as much as possible, play violin, participate in volunteer opportunities and play tennis Eventually, Katie would like to work in television, and she believes that Elon and all that it has to offer will play a vital role in helping her achieve her goals.
Madison Margeson comes to Elon from Lakeland, Fla. She graduated from All Saints’ Academy and discovered her love of communications as a member of the yearbook staff. Combining her skill in writing with her passion for creative graphic design, she became managing editor of the yearbook staff her senior year. Throughout high school, she served on Student Government, acted in school musicals and attended a summer arts course in London. She was a captain in both dance and cheerleading, receiving four NCA and UCA All-American cheerleader titles. She gained journalism experience when she spent a summer interning for a local newspaper, The Polk County Democrat, writing stories and photographing community events. She hostesses at a local Outback, enjoys volunteering for a youth camp every summer and maintains an avid interest in politics and current affairs. Madison looks forward to North Carolina weather, participating in Elon student media and the opportunities offered to her as a Communications Fellow.
Brennan McGovern, from Pittsburgh, graduated from North Allegheny Senior High School. He is thrilled to join the Elon community and plans to study journalism and political science. Brennan was an active member of his high school's television station, helping produce a daily morning show that aired live every day and creating videos for the school cable channel that aired to the local community. He also was a member of the school's speech and debate team, National Honor Society and Eagle Scouts. Brennan hopes to explore his interest in communications through Elon's television, radio and newspaper offerings. He is passionate about politics, media and Pittsburgh sports
Dan McLaughlin has lived in Avon, Conn., all of his life. He attended Avon High School, where he was involved in the school band and jazz band, crew team, swim team and various clubs. In his senior year he worked on the school's yearbook as the sports editor and synthesized a sports DVD. Dan has produced many videos, both school related and not, and is interested in pursuing film. He is excited to venture to North Carolina and take on Elon.
Brian Mezerski began sharing his interest in the communications field at any early age. Throughout middle school, he published his own family newspaper explaining the events of his Canonsburg, Pa., family. In high school, besides playing volleyball and working with the drama department, Brian was encouraged by his public speaking teacher to join “cmtv.” His involvement in this live news show, which aired to the entire school, allowed Brian to expand his talents, both as a broadcaster and a producer. His interest in Communications continued expanding, too. Brian also works in his church, using his talents in the communications, creative arts and youth departments and making his interest part of his everyday life. Brian is overwhelmingly excited and honored to join the Communications Fellows program. At Elon, he not only desires to grow his interest in the communications field but also to gain applicable knowledge for real-world life.
Marisa Moody is from Mystic, Conn., and graduated from Stonington High School, where she took her first Media Communications class freshman year that fostered her interest in the field. As a freshman, she anchored the Bears Broadcasting Channel and senior year she created an independent study in which she took the opportunity to use all she had learned in communications to create her own projects. She constructed a website for a local group of technologically challenged women who wanted to share information about a fund they had created in memory of a deceased teacher. She created numerous short news stories, a commercial for the town’s Human Service Department and a sports video for an athlete to send to colleges. She found her passion and had a lot of fun doing so. In high school she also kept busy running on the varsity cross country and track teams, managing the basketball team, serving as vice president of National Honor Society, staying involved in clubs and spending free time babysitting and boating with friends. At Elon, she plans to double major in Strategic Communications and Spanish. She is looking forward to getting involved in all that the School of Communications has to offer, studying abroad, meeting new people and preparing for her future.
Alison Ryncarz is honored to be attending Elon University as a Communications Fellow. Alison graduated from West Morris Central High School in Chester, N.J., as an IB diploma recipient and member of National Honor Society and French Honors Society. Outside of the classroom, Alison was an active member of numerous clubs and sports. She was nominated captain of her fencing team as a junior and played on the lacrosse team. Alison was also president of Radio Club and Cultural Arts Club. To explore a potential career in sports ournalism, Alison covered her school’s volleyball team in an online sports journal. Alison had the experience of interviewing New Jersey Nets personnel and was able to interview key sports reporters, such as Michelle Beadle and Marv Albert. Alison has a keen interest in broadcasting and journalism and plans to explore these interests throughout her time at Elon by joining the Phoenix14News crew.
Charles Tangires is from Ellicott City, Md., and a graduate of Glenelg Country School. He has a passion for performing and entertaining. While in high school, Charles was a leading member and actor in many music ensemble groups and the Performing Arts program’s production of several musicals. He was also a school council officer and representative, as well as a student athlete. Charles participated in the campus radio and newspaper clubs and was often the emcee for many campus events. When he first visited Elon as a prospective student, he was extremely impressed by the School of Communications’ facilities and opportunities. It is another venue to use his voice, creativity and stage presence as a performer. Charles is planning to major in Communications with a concentration in Media Arts & Entertainment, as well a major in Music Performance. He is enthused to learn of all the opportunities the School of Communications has to offer and hopes to narrow his field in hopes of finding the one place where he truly bELONgs.
Erin Valentine is from Downingtown, Penn., which is outside of Philadelphia. She graduated from Downingtown East High School, where she was the creator of the Movie Critics Club, photography editor for the literary magazine and world news editor for her school’s newspaper. Her interest in communications began with her travels. She has been to seven countries, including Japan, England and France, and hopes to continue to travel throughout her Elon career. Her intended majors are photojournalism and international studies, and she hopes to study abroad. Her interests in photojournalism were started by National Geographic, and she hopes to intern with them. She plans to contribute to the Pendulum and is incredibly excited to become part of the Elon community.