School of Communication

Meet the 2014 Communications Fellows

The School of Communications welcomes its 2014 class of Communications Fellows. Fellows wrote their own mini biographies, which you can read below.

JeNaye Alston was born and raised in Howard County, Maryland, where she graduated from Our Lady of Good Counsel High School. While attending Good Counsel, JeNaye participated in many clubs and organizations. She captained her school’s varsity cheerleading team, sat on the senior committee, served as an officer for the students against destructive decisions and participated in her school’s best buddies program. Not only was JeNaye involved at school, but she always found time to be an active member of her local church by volunteering to teach Sunday school and alternative church to small children in the community. Ever since a young age JeNaye has been interested in media and communications. This interest led her to take “The Art of Speech and Communications” in high school, where she excelled and realized her passion for public relations. JeNaye is excited to pursue a degree in Strategic Communications at Elon and plans to take part in Live Oak Communications and The Pendulum. JeNaye is grateful to have been chosen as a Communications Fellow and cannot wait to embrace all of the opportunities that the Fellows program has to offer.

Chace Blackburn is a graduate of Hanover High School in Mechanicsville, Virginia, and is very excited to start her experience at Elon University and take advantage of all the opportunities the school has to offer, especially within the School of Communications and the Communications Fellows program. Chace had many interests in high school. She was the founder of her school’s honor council, the managing editor of her high school newspaper, The Hawk Eye, the historian of her senior class and the secretary of her school’s chapter of the National Honor Society. Chace also took an interest in sports. She was the junior varsity captain of her field hockey team and the varsity captain of her swim team. She was also very active outside of school, participating in a camp for underprivileged children in Latvia for eight years, as well as in a similar camp in her hometown of Richmond. She also volunteered as a tutor in downtown Richmond, served at her church and worked as a pharmacy technician at a local clinic in Haiti. Her extensive volunteer work was honored with The Principals Service Award upon her graduation, as well as The Soaring Hawk Award, an honor given to two students in each graduating class who demonstrate qualities of leadership, service and benevolence. She also served as a mentor in her school’s SODA program, which encouraged elementary school students to develop leadership skills and make healthy decisions, and in her school’s Hawks Connection program, a bonding experience meant to enrich both the lives of intellectually disabled students and those not enrolled in the special education program. While at college, Chace tentatively plans to double major in Strategic Communications and International Business and minor in Spanish. She wants to travel abroad, and she ultimately hopes to serve the world by promoting local businesses and improving the economies of underdeveloped countries. 

Melina Casados is a graduate of Lexington Senior High in Lexington, North Carolina. It is in the comforts of the small town that she found her passion for writing and used her talent to embrace many opportunities. By the end of her senior year, Melina had won multiple awards in writing and held leadership positions in both HOSA and National Honor Society. In addition to participating within school clubs, the varsity tennis team and choral ensemble, Melina enjoyed volunteering in her community. She helped by participating in local events such as Relay for Life and the Special Olympics. Overall, her most prideful accomplishment was learning how to be a strong leader, as she became the editor in chief of her school’s yearbook. As a Communications Fellow, Melina is looking forward to further exploring the world of journalism.

Azzurra Catucci was born and raised in the Ocean State of Rhode Island. She is a first-generation Italian who speaks both English and Italian at home and is a citizen of both the United States and Italy. She graduated as a member of the National Honor Society from St. Mary Academy Bay View, where she held numerous leadership positions in student council, Model Legislature and Kids to Kids. Realizing that the things she was most passionate about were storytelling, connecting and inspiring, Azzurra knew Communications was undoubtedly the field for her. Azzurra plans to double major in Cinema & Television Arts and Strategic Communications, and she is excited to bring what she learns at Elon out into the world, where she hopes to travel as much as possible, help causes she feels strongly about and use film as a medium to bring different people together. Azzurra is also an amateur golfer, enjoys reading and watching movies and television programs, participates in plays and musicals, practices Pilates, serves as associate producer of the Rhode Island-based sustainability network, ReNewable Now, and was a member of a Rhode Island Improv Troupe. She loves Harry Potter, Oscar Sunday, superheroes and sunglasses. 

Lindsey Clemmer is from Oxford, Maryland, and graduated from Sts. Peter and Paul High School. Lindsey has always been involved in many different extracurricular activities. During her high school career, she served as president of the Drama Club, vice president of the National Honor Society, captain of the Freedom Rowers Crew Team for two years and treasurer of Key Club. She was involved with many other clubs and activities, but her passion has always been the arts. Lindsey played the lead role in her school musical her senior year and received prominent roles in school plays her sophomore and junior years. She has participated in and won her county’s “Talbot’s Got Talent” competition, as well as placed in two school talent shows for singing and musical composition. In her free time, Lindsey also enjoys painting and sketching. She has always had an obsession with theatre, music, television and film, which sparked her interest in Elon’s School of Communications, particularly the Cinema & TV Arts focus. Lindsey is humbled to have been chosen to be a part of such an exciting program and can’t wait to start her career as a Phoenix. 

Sarah Collins is a proud native of Pittsburgh, where she graduated with honors from Upper St. Clair High School in June 2014. Her passion for writing sparked from the moment she could first hold a pencil and continued to develop through the course of her schooling. During her time as a high school student, Sarah served on the staff of her high school’s literary magazine, Montage, and worked as a copy editor for Clairvoyant, the Upper St. Clair High School yearbook. Outside of school, Sarah wrote as a junior reporter for “Xpressions,” the youth column of The Pittsburgh Almanac. In addition to her communication-based activities, Sarah was also the captain of her high school’s varsity diving team, Student Council secretary of the senior class, and an Ambassador Level Girl Scout. She is looking forward to all of the opportunities that Elon and the Communications Fellows Program have to offer. 

Melissa Douglas is a graduate of Penn-Griffin School for the Arts in High Point, North Carolina. In high school, she started her school’s first yearbook club and led the way as editor-in-chief. She also was president of her school’s Environmental Club and put in a sidewalk in the student parking lot. Outside of school, she was a member of On Stage School of Dance’s competition team and senior company. She participated in a number of competitions and even appeared on an episode of the reality television show “Dance Moms.” She volunteered four days a week at the dance studio, teaching dance to younger children. On the weekends, she had a part time job at the local grocery store. Melissa has had two pieces published in the Jamestown News. Her column, “Life in Jamestown,” was well received. Melissa was thrilled to be selected as a Communications Fellow and can’t wait to start her next chapter at Elon. She plans to major in journalism. Her career goals include being a news anchor or television show host. Melissa is a dreamer and won’t stop until her dreams come true.

Perry Jahn Elyaderani is a graduate of Westlake High School near Cleveland, and he can't wait to live somewhere warmer. In high school, Perry assumed many leadership roles. As president of Shakespeare club for four years, he grew the club from five to 25 members and directed Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet. He also directed and wrote two 30-minute sketch comedy shows for his school, formed an improv club and became the vice president of WHBS Radio. From a very young age, Perry knew he wanted to be a performer, and he has done more than 18 theatre productions during the last 10 years, in addition to making regular appearances in his school's newscasts and sketches. With a passion for performance, communicating with others and making ideas a reality, he hopes to learn and grow at Elon. He currently plans to pursue a career on camera as an anchor and is excited to embrace any and all opportunities the school has to offer.

Mackenzie Franklin is a graduate of Mt. Lebanon High School in Pittsburgh. She discovered her love of journalism and communications while working on her school’s newspaper. Throughout high school, she served as the newspaper’s news editor, features editor and, most recently, managing editor. In addition to the newspaper, Mackenzie was also involved in many school organizations. She played varsity field hockey for three years and was selected to the All WPIAL team during her senior season. Mackenzie participated in her student government and served as the chair for the junior dance and Homecoming. She was active in the school’s Link Crew program and represented her high school on the Western Pennsylvania Student Athletic Advisory Council. Mackenzie graduated as a member of the National Honor Society and the Cum Laude Society. Mackenzie is excited for Elon life. She is planning to major in Strategic Communications and grab every opportunity that the Fellows program affords.

Miles Garrett is a graduate of Cambridge High School in Milton, Georgia. He has been interested in the communications/journalism field ever since he became involved with high school sports. During his senior year, Miles created an online sports blog that gained the attention of his high school. Miles became the Cambridge football beat writer and had his own sports segment for some time. Throughout his high school career, Miles was a member of the track and football team. He was also was a representative on student council and was a key contributor in starting new events for his first-year high school. Miles looks forward to covering sports for The Pendulum when he arrives at Elon this fall.

Joey Gizzi is from Cary, North Carolina, just outside of Raleigh. He graduated from Holly Springs High School, as a member of the National Honor Society and several sports teams. He was a captain on the varsity football team, playing all four years of high school, and also played a year of baseball and lacrosse. Aside from sports, Joey always loved making videos and short films. From the first moment he had his hands on a video camera, he fell in love with videography. Whether it was for a project at school or just for his own enjoyment, Joey seemed to always be editing videos or formulating his next big comedic idea. He would not only direct and film them, but also play multiple characters in them. Joey is extremely excited to be a Communications Fellow and to have the opportunity to work with the amazing equipment that Elon has to offer. He plans on joining “Elon Tonight” and would like to start up a late-night talk show once at school. Joey would also like to walk on to the football team his sophomore year.

Ansley Hamilton is honored to be a Communications Fellow at Elon University. She was born in Connecticut but raised in the Atlanta area, where she graduated from Johns Creek High School. Ansley was a four-year member of the cross country and track teams, earning the Coaches Award her freshman year and Most Improved her junior year. Ansley’s love of running enabled her to compete in three half marathons. Ansley was also a member of the yearbook staff for three years, serving as the People Editor and Sports Editor. Community service has also been an influential activity in her life. She was a member of National Charity League, Beta Club and Flood. As a member of National Charity League, Ansley was able to volunteer her time at many local philanthropies, seeing a wide view of the needs of the community. She cooked and served meals at Ronald McDonald House, distributed food at the local food pantry and worked pet adoptions, among other things. As a result of her time spent volunteering, she was awarded the NCL Senior Service Award, which is given to the senior who volunteered the most number of hours throughout the course of their six years. Ansley is looking forward to the many opportunities at Elon especially the Fellows Program and studying abroad.

Olivia Hays is a graduate of West Morris Mendham High School, where she was a member of the National Honor Society and Société Honoraire de Français. She was also a diploma recipient of the International Baccalaureate Program and served as captain of the girl’s golf team. She pursued her interest in fashion marketing and sales as the social media and in-store manager of Mendham’s high-end chic boutique, Windswept. Her love of public speaking encouraged her to become head of the PTA department of her school’s club Peace Project, as well as the youngest Worship Leader at her church. With a deep passion for travel, she plans to study abroad while at Elon. She aims to enhance her interpersonal skills as a Strategic Communications major and develop further understanding in public relations. After enjoying many acting opportunities, for example a leading role in the school musical, she cannot wait to participate in Elon Student Television.

Lee Jenkins graduated from Arendell Parrott Academy in Kinston, North Carolina. His foray into theatre during his sophomore year provided him with the vocal tools he needed to transition into broadcasting, and he became his class’ de facto student announcer shortly thereafter. He joined the International Thespian Society in his junior year and went on to compete at the NCTC Regional Festival, where he was named best actor for his performance as Krogstad in “A Doll’s House is a Metaphor.” With the help of his AP Language teacher, Vicki Kennedy, he worked to improve his writing and rhetoric. During the summer of 2013, he worked as an intern at Public Radio East of New Bern, North Carolina, where he received his first taste of professional broadcasting. He returned there the following summer to work as a part-time employee and hopes to continue freelancing for the studio while he’s at Elon. In his free time, he enjoys creative writing, what little hiking there is to be had in eastern North Carolina and lampooning overly serious action films. He's been known to take tea on occasion, as well. Expect him to come under-dressed.

Steven Lannum was born in St. Louis but has lived in Westwood, Massachusetts, for most of his life. When Steven was 12 years old, he bought a small camcorder and started uploading videos to YouTube. As he grew older, he continued with this hobby and obtained enough viewers to include advertisements with his videos and make a profit. Steven graduated from Westwood High School, having taken two years of video production courses. He enjoyed being able to make videos for a class and looked forward every day to editing his footage. In the summer of 2012, Steven worked as an intern for The Needham Channel, a local broadcast television station. While there, he helped develop sports news packages, designed elements and promos, and gained a lot of experience with editing and camerawork. Steven also enjoys playing sports like tennis, basketball and ultimate Frisbee, and he is a black belt in Uechi-ryu Karate. Steven is excited to be attending Elon University in the fall, and he hopes to get involved as much as he can with the Elon Student Television.

Caroline Miller was raised in Tampa, Florida. As a graduate of the IB curriculum at Carrollwood Day School in Tampa, she is excited to embark on her journey as a Communications Fellow at Elon. As a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society and the Yearbook Club, she has had many fulfilling academic experiences. As a volunteer, Caroline enjoyed being co-President of Help 4 Haiti, a school-wide drive to gather toiletries for the needy in Haiti. Caroline’s desire to major in Communications stemmed from her experiences in performing. As a dancer for seven years, then competitive dancing for three years, then performing in community theatre for five years, Caroline went on to become an active member in the School’s Thespian Troupe all through high school. As an active member of Thespians, she played many roles, but her favorite role of all was playing Riot the Eagle, the school’s mascot at football games and pep rallies. Caroline is looking forward to all that Elon has to offer, including FreshTV, studying abroad, College Coffee, Elonthon and Elon in Los Angeles. She plans to major in Cinema & Television Arts.

Calvin Mincer graduated from Monticello High School in Charlottesville, Virginia. He’s been active in journalism and television production since middle school and was on the newspaper staff and morning broadcast crew throughout high school. His senior year he served as both the editor-in-chief of the paper and producer of the morning news. He also worked for a local broadcasting company that live-streamed high school sports around Virginia. Calvin is excited to continue his work in Communications at Elon, especially in TV and film production.

Suraj Minisandram was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is excited to be joining the new class of Communications Fellows. He is a graduate of Providence High School, where he was deeply involved in a number of activities such as Student Council, German Club, band, theater and the National Honor Society. His favorite things include kicking it back and having a good time with his friends, working at Trader Joes, meeting new people, volunteering in and around his community, and traveling to different countries to visit his family and eat amazing food. Suraj’s previous experience with communications started in his TV Production class, in which he and his classmates produced the morning announcements for the entire school every day. Since then, he has known that Communications was meant for him, whether that was in front of the camera or behind the scenes. He hopes to get involved with as much of the Elon student run media as he can. Suraj is honored and thankful to have this opportunity to be a Communications Fellow and knows that Elon and the School of Communications will serve him well to help meet the great expectations he has for himself. He is ecstatic to be able to join his classmates this fall and is ready for this next phase of life.

Joseph Manning Nappa is a graduate of Chatham High School and is from the town of Chatham, New Jersey, where he lives with his brother and two parents. Joseph spends a lot of time outside of his house and the classroom playing sports, participating in his local youth ministry at his church and making or watching movies. In high school, he played soccer, hockey and lacrosse, while also making short films with his friends. Although Joseph is not completely sure whether he wants to couple his communications major with a major in business or pre-law, he does know he wants to learn all aspects and branches of the cinema industry. Being a part of the creative process in cinema is an aspect of the industry he wants to enter, but to have a leg up in the industry he wants to learn as much as he can about all the moving pieces there are to a film, specifically financing, marketing and legal. He also cannot wait to study abroad in one or more countries, where he hopes to learn about new cultures and to obtain a better understanding of the world we live in today. As Joseph eases into his first year at Elon, he looks forward to being a Communications Fellow, gaining new friends, working closely with staff members and expanding his knowledge in the world of Communications.

Jackie Pascale grew up in Royersford, Pennsylvania, a suburb about 45 minutes from Philadelphia. Jackie recently graduated with distinguished honors from Spring-Ford High School, where she was Student Council president and the lead anchor on her school’s morning announcements. Her position allowed her to combine her passion for reporting news, her leadership skills and her love of writing. She has been an anchor on her school’s morning programs since fourth grade, so it’s no surprise that she is looking to major in Journalism. Along with reporting in front of the camera, Jackie has been a photojournalist for a local newspaper for four years. Aside from journalism, Jackie takes a special interest in fundraising and community service. Through her cheerleading squad and student council, Jackie has organized several food drives and fundraisers for some local food pantries. Jackie also has been organizing annual fundraisers for a local fire company for more than 10 years. Her involvement in and outside of school combined with her dedication to her studies landed Jackie a position in the National Honor Society in her junior year. As if she wasn't busy enough, Jackie has also been in musicals throughout high school and was the student producer for her senior year spring musical. In her free time, you could probably find Jackie singing, dancing, reading CNN/Buzzfeed articles or hanging out with friends. Jackie is honored to be a part of the Communications Fellows Class of 2018 and cannot wait to see what opportunities are in store for her at Elon.

Meredith Piatt is originally from Ohio and grew up there and in California before her family relocated to North Carolina in 2008. She spent most of her childhood on stage in plays and musicals. In high school, Meredith headlined musical reviews and traveled to Vienna, Austria, and Salzburg, Germany, with her school's choir. She spent two summers as a counselor in North Carolina based stage and film acting camps, directing and teaching the craft to youth. Meredith's true passion, though, centers on social justice, poverty and mission work. She has four summers of experience with the Christian based mission program Appalachian Service Project. In her senior year, Meredith traveled to Haiti as the youngest member of an adult mission group. She was a leader in her high school community, serving as president of the National Honor Society, student body treasurer, chair of the social committee and captain of the swim team. Meredith adores her part time job, serving at Smitty's Homemade Ice Cream in downtown Elon. She looks forward to deeply involving herself on campus and developing strong and lasting relationships with fellow students and faculty. 

Contia’ Prince graduated with honors from Firestone High School in her hometown of Akron, Ohio. She received both the Honors and International Baccalaureate diploma. Although more of a mental athlete than a physical one, Contia’ participated in the Firestone Dance and Step Team her sophomore year, lettered in varsity cheerleading her junior year and played JV tennis her senior year. She also was a member of and a published student in Voices, her school’s literary magazine, her senior and sophomore years, where she and other members edited and selected poetry and artwork to enter the magazine. She was also a member of several senior committees, including the prom committee, where her idea for the senior prom T-shirt was selected, and the pep rally committee. She participated in theatre her freshman year as both a Visual and Performing Arts and International Baccalaureate student, where she completed more than 30 crew hours in set construction her freshman and senior years. She also co-wrote a play that was produced by her school’s theatre program as part of the school’s 1st annual 24-Hour Theatre project, during which students independently write and produce plays in only 24 hours. She currently is the multimedia manager for her mother’s nonprofit organization, The Pamper Me Organization and The Pamper Me Organization Teen Division, targeted at helping chronically ill children and their families through online and social media outlets. She intends to double major in Communications and International Business, with the hopes of influencing both the business and artistic sides of the entertainment industry nationally and internationally. She is excited to become an active member and leader in Elon’s community.

Lindsay Rosen graduated with high honors from Andover High School in Andover, Massachusetts. She participated in numerous activities and held several leadership roles throughout her high school career. Lindsay played field hockey her freshman and sophomore years, was a standout member in the AHS debate team, was elected to the Class Board of Directors all four years, was the president of DECA Marketing and Business Club and was the Social Action president of her religious youth group. In her spare time, Lindsay loves to be with her family and friends, and she loves to stay active. Lindsay is proud to have taken every English and writing course at her school, including those offered at the AP level. Her love of communications stems from her love of writing and interacting with others and her involvement in the communications oriented classes and leadership positions at school. Just like her mother and brother, she hopes to pursue a career in public relations. Lindsay will be majoring in Strategic Communications and hopes to work for Live Oak Communications, as well as a part of the other media related clubs offered at Elon. Lindsay is extremely honored and grateful to be part of the Communication Fellows Class of 2018 and cannot wait to participate in all that this program has to offer.

Cathy Schubert, a recent graduate of Washington, D.C.’s Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School, is thrilled to be a Communications Fellow. She looks forward to all the program has to offer and is planning to incorporate a Psychology minor into her studies. Throughout her junior and senior years of high school, Cathy worked as the youngest sales associate at the Georgetown branch of the boutique J.McLaughlin. She values this work in retail as instrumental experience, as she pursues a career in public relations. Additionally, Cathy took an interest in learning Spanish. She was inducted into the Spanish Honor Society her sophomore year and is published twice in its magazine, ¡Albricias!. Cathy received the Spanish medal of excellence upon her graduation, awarded to one student who displayed prowess in the subject throughout the year. Cathy loves to travel and hopes to pursue this passion through Elon’s study abroad programs in the future, with a trip to Australia, in particular.

Katie Shannon was born and raised in Fairfield, Connecticut, and could not be more excited to be a Communications Fellow. She is a graduate of Fairfield Warde High School, where she participated in as many school activities as she could. She was a member of the National Honor Society, a member of the varsity swimming and diving team for four years, the secretary of the Warde Red Cross Club, and the head section leader of the Choir Department at her school. As the lead in the school musicals, her passion for different types of literature deepened. Her love of broadcast journalism grew, as her interest in acting and writing developed throughout her high school years. Realizing how much technology influences her everyday decision making, she considers it both a pleasure and a responsibility to make sure that influence is a positive one. Her hobbies include reading, swimming and singing. She is excited and grateful for the educational opportunities Elon has to offer and looks forward to taking advantage of them.

Aneesha Smith was raised in Fayetteville, North Carolina. She graduated from Jack Britt High School, where she was historian of the National Honor Society, co-editor of the yearbook and captain of the speech and debate team, among other activities. Aneesha is passionate about public speaking and has won more than 20 speech and debate awards in varying events. Her interests outside of school include graphic art, design, photography and filmography. She is a huge fan of all kinds of films and television shows and never dares to miss an awards show. Aneesha will be studying Cinema & Television Arts in the School of Communications and intends to pursue a career in directing or editing. She is so glad to be a Communications Fellow and is excited to explore the opportunities in store for her at Elon.

Stephanie Webster is from Berwyn, Pennsylvania, and graduated with highest honors from the Agnes Irwin School. During her time at Agnes Irwin, Stephanie developed a passion for graphic design. She studied media arts for four years, served as the editor-in-chief of the school yearbook and participated in a month-long summer program in graphic design at Parsons The New School for Design. Stephanie also dedicated much time to community service. She participated in the Bryn Mawr Tutoring program as a tutor for disadvantaged children living in Philadelphia and was the co-head of the SEGA Club, which works to support an all-girls school in Tanzania. After her sophomore year, Stephanie took part in a two-week service trip to the SEGA School, where she helped teach English to the SEGA students, assisted with SEGA’s poultry business and toured Tanzania. Prior to departing on the trip, Stephanie created a blog that served as a forum for the students volunteering at SEGA to document daily activities and post photographs. Stephanie also participated in Agnes Irwin’s debate club and was a member of the Varsity golf team. She looks forward to being a Communications Fellow at Elon University and plans to major in Strategic Communications.