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Current Civic Engagement Scholars

Class of 2014                                                               Class of 2015                                                             Class of 2016

Caitlyn Bonarrigo                       Laura Koch                               Courtney Crowell
Kristen Bryar                               Chelsea McQueen                  Drew Dimos
Ben Donahue                             Rachel Miller                            Clare Farrow
Frances Hamilton                      Laura Sturdivant                      Rachel Gilman
Sarah Harrs                                Courtney Vaughn                    Jennifer Osborne
Alex Hay                                                                                           Jensen Roll
Samantha Italiano                                                                         Kaitlin Snapp
Rebecca Stanley 
Catherine Russell 

Civic Engagment Scholars Graduates

2013 Scholar Graduates

Sophie Ann Biggar

Sophie’s longstanding interest in supporting children academically and socially led her and a fellow CES student to meet with administrators at a local high-needs elementary school. Recognizing that the students needed mentors to be engaged in their lives for at least two years, Sophie and fellow CES students matched 19 Elon students with elementary school students who would graduate the same year as the Elon students. The pairs were introduced at a celebration dinner and subsequently met weekly at the elementary school. Three new CES scholars will continue this program in the future.

Sarah Catherine (“Kit”) Connor

Kit’s interest in perceptions of people receiving public assistance developed in a research class on this topic with Tom Mould, associate professor of anthropology. When the class ended Kit continued working with Dr. Mould on research related to perceptions of people receiving public assistance. Using ethnographic research methods, she interviewed Elon student leaders to investigate Elon students’ perceptions of welfare and welfare recipients, while also exploring the media’s depiction of people receiving public assistance.

Frances Anne (“Annie”) Fuller

Annie and another CES student wrote a grant proposal to support the development of a Pay-What-You-Can Kitchen for Sustainable Alamance, a local non-profit organization that helps ex-offenders become reintegrated into society, seeks to reduce recidivism, and strives to change negative stereotypes about ex-offenders. The funding of this grant allowed the organization to purchase much-needed kitchen equipment, increasing employment opportunities for its clients through the group’s catering business and Pay-What-You-Can Kitchen.

Leslie Ada Gilman

Leslie initiated a collaboration between CES students and a local high-needs elementary school that led to identifying a need for a long-term mentoring program. Leslie researched mentoring programs and worked with her CES peers and school administrators to design a program pairing 19 Elon University students with 19 elementary school students based on their interests and graduation year. Mentors and mentees met at a celebration dinner, then continued to meet weekly at the elementary school. Three new CES students will continue the mentoring program in the future.

Arron Jimel Jones-Williams

Arron’s commitment to community organizing in the Cleveland, Ohio area led him to collaborate with Cleveland’s Buckeye Area Development Corporation to create the “Buckeye Youth Outreach Program” to provide opportunities for young people to get involved in their community in positive ways. With Arron’s assistance, a group of high school students submitted a grant proposal to Neighborhood Connections, a community-building program, which was funded for $2,000. The funds will be used to landscape vacant lots, paint abandoned houses, and remove trash from the streets.  

Alexander Strauss Lewis

Alex’s longstanding interest in politics and community organizing led him to work with the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, a group that fights the establishment of mines near people’s homes and empowers local citizens to advocate against mountaintop removal. By the end of his project Alex had identified 200 community members who were interested in advocating for this cause. This citizens’ group will continue to work with community leaders to protect the environment and advocate against the coal industries’ interests.

Deirdre Anne Loftus

Deirdre is passionate about helping those who confront the effects of negative stereotyping in their daily lives. So when she learned about Sustainable Alamance’s work with ex-offenders, she wanted to support the organization in any way she could. Building on a previous CES student project, Deirdre and another CES student wrote a grant proposal to support Sustainable Alamance’s Pay-What-You-Can Kitchen. Their grant was funded and helped purchase kitchen equipment to assist with the organization’s catering business and Pay-What-You-Can Kitchen.

Elizabeth Courtney Nerich

Elizabeth’s interest in public transportation in Burlington, NC led her to utilize a questionnaire developed by Annie Fuller and Tammy Cobb to survey local citizens on the functionality of the Elon University Downtown/East Burlington bio bus route. She analyzed the survey results and shared them with Tammy Cobb, Assistant Director for Community Partnerships at the Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement, who subsequently shared them with key stakeholders and participants.

Caroline Rose Taylor

As a volunteer and LINCS coordinator working with disadvantaged high school students living in low-income housing, Caroline established a long-term relationship with the Burlington Housing Authority and Mary Morrison, Director of the Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement. Caroline helped to develop programs to increase high school students’ awareness of and interest in attending college. These programs include initiating a book club using Elon’s common reading and engaging students in events on the Elon University campus. 

2012 Scholar Graduates

 

Rebecca Robbins Berube 

Becca developed a keen interest in food security issues and developed a relationship with Sustainable Alamance, a local non-profit organization, where she had the opportunity to participate in grant-writing and other activities to support the development of a pay-what-you-can kitchen.  One of these grants was recently funded and Sustainable Alamance will be moving forward with next steps in developing this community resource.


Kristin Elizabeth Greene 

Kristin became interested in HEART, a student organization at Elon that offers peer support to students who are coping with bereavement and/or the serious illness of a family member or loved one.  Her work has focused on strengthening the organization through more active recruitment of members and leaders for the group along with fostering a closer collaboration between HEART and Counseling Services.


Claire Marie Healy 

Claire’s work centered around issues of student activism and free speech on private college campuses, especially Elon University.  She explored, along with a group of student peers, the ways in which free speech for students at Elon is abridged through policies such as those regulating the use of space and the posting of flyers.  Ultimately she and fellow classmates worked to raise awareness around this issue and to provide recommendations on developing a more free speech friendly campus.


Mario F. Martinez 

Mario’s long-standing interest in childhood cancer became central to his work in the Civic Engagement Scholars program.  He developed a relationship with KidsPath, a program within Hospice of Alamance/Caswell. 
At Hospice, Mario completed the volunteer training program and then worked as volunteer, spending time with children who are coping with serious and life-threatening illnesses. 


Louisa Myers Sloan 

Louisa established a long-term relationship with the English as Second Language (ESL) program at Alamance Community College.  As a volunteer, she assisted in an ESL classroom and ultimately developed a project that focused on supporting student attendance in ESL classes through providing incentives and supports and through gathering information regarding the barriers to attendance that the ESL students’ experienced.

 

2011 Scholar Graduates

Debra Meredith and Courtney GrahamCourtney Ann Graham, an Exercise Science major with minors in Psychology and Neuroscience, is from Wyckoff, New Jersey. For her Civic Engagement Scholars Senior Project, Courtney worked with Kopper Top Life Learning Center. Kopper Top’s mission is to provide “quality therapeutic services, education, and recreation therapy to individuals with and without disabilities through the use of animals to empower and enhance their quality of life.” Through a grant Courtney secured, the organization was able to expand the training and certification of a long-term volunteer, allowing the organization to significantly increase its services to the community. Courtney’s initial contact with Deborah Meredith from Kopper Top was during her first year at Elon. Regarding her work in the Civic Engagement Scholars, Courtney reports that one of her most significant lessons has been recognizing the value of forming long-term relationships with community partners. 


Phil Bowers and James MossJames Alexander Moss, a major in Communication Science with a minor in Human Service Studies, is from Raleigh, North Carolina.  For his Senior Project in the Civic Engagement Scholars Program, Alex completed an internship with Phil Bowers at Sustainable Alamance.  This organization “serves as a focal point for men with criminal histories to . . . be restored to a productive place in our community” and strives to promote “the overall economic health of Alamance County.”  As a Civic Engagement Scholars Senior Intern, Alex focused primarily on the organization’s community garden initiative where several of the ex-offenders work.  Reflecting on his experience at Sustainable Alamance, Alex says, “I believe all people can change for the better, and I never thought I would become such an advocate for ex-offenders.”