Honors Program

Honors Homecoming

For those of you I got to see during Homecoming, thanks for coming! It was wonderful to see some familiar faces, and meet  new folks from before my time as Honors Director.  Honors Homecoming will be an annual event so please put it on your calendars for next year. The dates for Homecoming 2016 are October 21-23 and you can find more information about the weekend here.

Honors Newsletter

Check out the most recent issues of the Honors Update to keep up to date on the program.

#1: Sp 2014    #2: Fall 2014  #3: Sp 2015   #4: Fall 2016

Stay in Touch

Don’t be strangers! We’d love to know what you’re up to. If you can take 1-2 minutes to send us an email at honors@elon.edu with the "Quick Info," we would really appreciate it! If you've got a few more minutes, consider sending us a brief paragraph that we could use in our Featured Alumni section.

Quick Info:

• Name, Year Graduated Elon, Current & Preferred Contact Information:
• Current Job:
• Anything else you want us to know (e.g. notable achievements, life and career transitions, etc.)

Spotlight Bio:

We'd love to include you in our Honors alumni spotlights. Typically these spotlights include achievements, transitions, and personal and career goals, but please feel free to include any information you'd like to share. For some examples, see the Recently Featured Alumni below.

Featured Alumni

Click here to see what your Honors classmates are up to now. 

Alumni Highlights

Jill Capotosto '14: After graduation, Jill moved to Hanoi, Vietnam as a Princeton in Asia fellow to work for TRAFFIC, an international nonprofit that monitors the trafficking and trade of wildlife. As the organization's communications officer, she wrote and designed publications for national and regional initiatives to reduce demand for rhino horn and other illegally-traded wildlife. At the end of her two-year fellowship, Jill moved back to the US, and she now works for The Institute for Sustainable Communitites, an international nonprofit that fosters localy-driven initatives to establish climate and economic resiliency at the community level. She added, "Every day at work, I draw on lessons I learned from writing my thesis. I'm very grateful to have had that opportunity to explore and solidify my career and research interests, and to have been able to work with faculty who were, and continue to be, great mentors."

Amy Reitnouer '09: After graduation, Amy worked at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and then moved to Los Angeles to take a position assisting Tom Sherak, president of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. While working with the Academy Awards, Amy fed her passion for bluegrass music, which began during her college years at Elon. She began a blog called BluegrassLA in 2011 and it gained popularity among old-time music fans in California. In 2012, Amy co-founded and became the Executive Director of The Bluegrass Situation, merging her blog with actor Ed Helms' music festival to form a joint venture and a website, www.thebluegrasssituation.com. Amy describes The Bluegrass Situation as "half editorial, half live activation," because they produce editorial content such as reviews, videos, and columns as well as put on festivals and shows. Amy attributes her ability to make the connections between roots music and the audience's lifestyle to the team-taught Honors courses she took during her time at Elon, as well as her liberal arts education. She says that coming from the Honors program and a liberal arts background, her career path "wasn't a crazy jump. It's the same skill set, you just have to shift your perspective."

Kyle Whitaker ‘14
Kyle currently teaches at SMK Padang Tengku, a public secondary school located in Kuala Lipis, Pahang, as part of his Fulbright ETA grant. He works with over 300 children to build their English language skills through innovative pedagogies. His work allows him to apply his Elon education and Honor research in practical and creative ways. In fact, he recently presented the findings of his Honors Thesis research at the Pekan International Education Conference in Pekan, Malaysia. Kyle writes: "Without the Honors Program I definitely would not have been given this Fulbright, seeing as the application and interview process was nothing compared to the feat that was finishing my thesis. You prepared me so incredibly well, and I'm very thankful."

Ashley Fowler ‘14
After graduation, Ashley accepted a position with the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for LGBT individuals. She works with HRC Global, the new international initiative of HRC. Since joining the team a little over six months ago, she has had the opportunity to meet and work with incredible activists from the US, as well as from all around the world. She notes: "This position aligns perfectly with my thesis/Lumen work and has propelled me into the work that I hope to continue to pursue. I've never been happier and I can't imagine a more appropriate start to my career!”

Cleo Dan ‘14 Immediately after graduation, Cleo interned in the Capitol for US Senator Warner, providing an eye-opening opportunity to witness how our government truly works (and doesn't work!). She currently serves as the Director of Strategic Communications and Support for a tech startup in Richmond, VA, called Muster. The software platform allows government relations professionals, trade associations, and advocacy organizations to increase civic engagement rates among their members and influence public policy at a local, state, and/or federal level. So far she and her group have been able to successfully aid organizations influence the Virginia General Assembly through our platform. She added that "Thanks to the Honors Program, I have been able to leverage the value of my liberal arts degree in the technology world. The variety of coursework that I took as an undergraduate truly developed my learning agility, and taught me how to apply my skills in a new industry area. It has been incredible to be a part of an early-stage tech company, and I know that my undergraduate career at Elon gave me the tools to succeed in the “real world”!"

Julia Schast '14 is a recipient of the 2014 Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship grant for graduate study and is currently pursuing a law degree at the University of Virginia with the ultimate aspiration of practicing criminal law as a State or Federal prosecutor. During her senior year at Elon, Julia presented different sections of her Honors Thesis (on the ratification process of multilateral treaties in the United States) at three professional academic conferences: International Studies Association – South, Georgia Political Science Association, North Carolina Political Science Association. After graduating, Julia successfully published an article on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in Papers and Publications: Interdisciplinary Journal of Undergraduate Research. Her research paper on the Law of the Sea Convention – a condensed version of a case study in her thesis – has been published Questions in Politics, an internet-based archive of peer-reviewed scholarly papers sponsored by the Georgia Political Science Association. In her spare time, Julia serves as a co-founder and Board Member for a non-profit organization based in North Carolina called Model Washington whose mission is to provide college students with an experiential approach to understanding the roles and responsibilities of the United States Federal Government.

Krysten O’Hara ’14
Immediately after graduation, Krysten was accepted into the Masters Program in Neuroscience and Education at Teachers College-Columbia University. This is the first graduate program in the U.S. to explicitly focus on the educational and clinical implications of recent advances in neuroscience. The goal of the program is to prepare specialists who are able to bridge the gap between research underlying brain, cognition and behavior, and the problems encountered in schools and other applied settings. She is now studying at SUNY (State University of New York) Upstate Medical University, working towards a PhD in Neuroscience. 

Chris Jarrett '11 received a Fulbright U.S. Student Grant for research in Ecuador. As part of his project, Chris will live and work among the Amazonian Kichwa people of the Napo province, interviewing community elders and documenting cultural narratives (stories, songs, dream interpretations and life lessons) associated with their guayusa tea ritual. These narratives will be written in Kichwa, translated to Spanish and English, and made into two small books with the goal of preserving cultural knowledge associated with the guayusa ritual. You can follow Chris' progress by visiting his blog.

Kiva Nice-Webb '11: After graduation, Kiva accepted two year-long terms in Chicago with the faith-based nonprofit DOOR. DOOR promotes cross-cultural learning through urban immersion experiences while living at the poverty line and serving as a full-time volunteer at a local nonprofit. Her thesis, entitled ‘The Hybrid Saint: Reading Brigit through a Postcolonial Lens,’ explores how different perspectives and notions of authority shape understandings of religious figures and narratives. A religious studies major, Kiva has had the opportunity to present her research at the Southeastern Commission for the Study of Religion conference in 2011 and will also have her research published in the Journal of Theta Alpha Kappa in 2013, both opportunities also resulting in awards for Best Undergraduate Submission.