Office of Student Life

Student Life Division Awards

Individual Honors

New Professional Award

Presented every other year to person serving in their first or second year at Elon who exhibits exceptional ability and commitment to being a Student Life professional.

2016: Diana Abrahams, Multi-faith and Intern Coordinator
Abrahams received this award because of stepping into a job that never existed before on  campus, and has being instrumental in shaping the Truitt Center's emerging engagement programs, relaunching the LLC, and revamping and bringing new energy to existing programs.  Abrahams has been a great ambassador on campus for inclusive community around issues of religious and spiritual identity.

2015: Matthew Antonio Bosch, Director of the Gender and LGBTQIA Center
Bosch received this award because of his exceptional efforts to create a more inclusive community for students, faculty, staff, and alumni.  Bosch has already built strong relationships with students and is seen as an advocate for anyone seeking him out. He is a dynamic presenter and always willing to give his time and knowledge to help spread awareness and advocacy,

2014: Debbie Norris, Associate Director of Campus Recreation
Norris received the award for ensuring the success of campus rec in the absence of a senior staff member, enhancing several campus recreation areas including a thriving Club Sports program, and being a key to the success of Relay for Life in its first years on campus.  She does an amazing job with the student staff she supervises and has found the perfect balance between challenge and support that her students need.

2013: Evan Small, Special Programs Coordinator, Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement
Small received the award for going above and beyond the requirements of his job. He has shown his dedication to the success of Elon students through his willingness to provide additional assistance when needed, successful execution of tasks, and ability to step into a leadership role in both the Kernodle Center and Elon. He has shown an infectious energy for working with students and is a role model for those around him.

2012: Katie Hight, Director of New Student Programs
Hight received the award for developing amazing programs and always being there for her students during her first year back at Elon University. She attended a certification training in high ropes facilitation, guided a first year summer experience, and then planned and implemented the opening schedule and program all within 90 days of her first day. Katie has not slowed down since and continues to perform amazingly in all of her roles.

2011: Karley Counts, Assistant Director of Campus Recreation
Counts received the award for taking on a great deal of responsibility in the Campus Recreation including coordinating Sportsfest and helping with Turkey Trot. She coordinated two new events, the Laser Tag Tournament and Duo Dash Adventure Race, collaborating with Student Activities on the Laser Tag Tournament. Counts also has assisted Greek Life during women's recruitment in January, coordinated the winter term bowling league, served on the Elon Forest committee.

2008: Phil Smith, Assistant Chaplain and Director of Religious Life

Smith received the award for initiating many new programs, including a new summer experience and service trip.  He is a strong advocate for students and involved across the campus in supporting and advising various student groups.

2006: Meghan Dillon, Assistant Director for Campus Recreation
Dillon received the New Professional Award for her success in opening the new Harden Club Sports facility on South Campus.

Professional Development Award

Presented annually to a staff member (exempt or non-exempt) who has made a singular advance in professional growth.

2016: Stacey Rusterholz, Campus Kitchen Coordinator and Assistant to the Director of the Center for Leadership
Rusterholz advanced herself through completing her master's program, taking on a new position - while still doing all of her work with her previous department, and advanced her stkills beyond leaderhip development.  She additionally completed research within the division and with peer institutions to advance professional development across the division.

2015: Evan Small, Assistant Director of Kernodle Center for Student Programs
Small has shown a commitment to continually striving to become a stronger student affairs professional through the many professional development opportunities offered. He has been involved in the Elon Challenge Course, Elon Outdoors, social justice trainings, and student travel risk management conferences this past year – just to name a few and just this past March he completed his Master’s degree in Adventure Education from Plymouth State University

2014: Nolan Patouillet, Assistant Director of Residence Life - The Oaks
Patouillet has presented at different conferences this past year and has also started the Future in Student Affairs Organization. This organization gives students who are interested in pursuing Student Affairs a chance to learn more about the field through programs and a class that will start in the fall and to have the chance to be paired up with a Student Affairs mentor. 

2013: Susan Holt, Program Assistant for East Area
Holt has taken advantage of webinars, luncheons, and recently a conference out of town to better her skills and to connect with the community. She is eager to take on new tasks and challenges in the East Area and is instrumental in keeping the East Area going while developing valuable connections and bridges with the environmental staff.

2012: Dr. Jana Lynn Patterson, Assistant Vice President for Student Life
Patterson successfully defended her dissertation, "Generational Differences in Work Values Among Administrative Staff members in Institutions of Higher Education," to complete the Ph.D. in Psychology and Organizational Development at Northcentral University in Prescott, Arizona. Dr. Patterson worked full-time and provided significant leadership to the Division of Student Life and Elon University while completing the coursework and dissertation for the Ph.D. over the past several years, always excelling in all areas.

2011: Bruce Nelson, Director of Counseling
Nelson embraces professional development as a passion- not an entitlement and his desire for professional development reflects his dedication to be a lifelong learner and to seek those opportunities that strengthen him as a clinician but also improve the institutions’ ability to respond to individual and group crises.

2010: MarQuita Barker, Assistant Director of Residence Life, Danieley Center
Barker served on the NCHO Professional Development Committee, published 2 articles in the Signpost, served on Elon’s Professional Development committee, and presented 2 presentations at conferences (one at the LEAD conference on diversity in programming, and 1 at NCHO about multicultural competence in the workplace).

2009: Becca McQueen, Assistant Director of Residence Life, Danieley Center

2008: Carrie Ryan, Assistant Director of Residence Life for Operations and Information Management
Ryan serves on numerous professional organization committees and presented at national conferences.  As chair of the Professional Development Committee she has worked to provide opportunities for division wide development as well.

2006: Jerrid Freeman, Associate Director of Residence Life Operations
Freeman received the Professional Development Award for completing his doctorate and assisting other staff in authoring their first professional articles.

Student Advocate Award

Presented annually to a staff member who is an exceptional mentor to students, engaging with them in purposeful student development activities.

2016: Jamie Butler, Assistant Director of the Center for Race, Ethnicity, and Diversity Education
Butler works tirelessly to support the African American community at Elon, and so much of this work happens behind the scenes and goes unnoticed and underappreciated.  She is a rock, a constant support, and a tireless advocate for black students and she's truly been a life-line for students who have been victims of hate speech, bias incidents, and micro-aggressions..

2015: Adam Bell, Assistant Director of Student Activities
Bell doesn't think twice about attending student's late-night events and getting dirty right along with them setting up for an event. He has demonstrated the level of work, commitment, and dedication he expects by establishing appropriate expectations and leading by example in his work with the students.  He has an amazing connection with students and they see him as trusted mentor who is always there for them.

2014: Angel Garcia, Assistant Director of Residence Life - The Station at Mill Point and Assistant Director of the Multicultural Center
Through Garcia's work within Residence Life and the Multicultural Center he has impacted a lot of students' lives in a positive way, advocating for students and mentoring them in their leadership.  He does a great job of relating to students and getting to know them on a personal level. He is a role model Assisstant Director in Residence Life, and that he is respected amongst students and fac/staff.

2013: Peter Tulchinsky, Director of Campus Recreation
Tulchinsky is someone that the Campus Recreation Student Staff look to for advice, guidance, and support. His role as Director is much more than a title and his interaction with his student staff is meaningful and purposeful as evident when seeing him engaging his student staff that they really look up to him and listen to his thoughts and advice.

2012: TJ Bowie, Assistant Director of Residence Life - Danieley Center
Bowie work tirelessly, regardless of how large or small the task, to help develop and support students. Bowie has been consistent, steadfast, fun, supportive, and caring when it comes to dealing with all students whether encountered through his role as a supervisor or through serving as Administrator on Call.

2011: Brian O'Shea, Assistant to the Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students
O'Shea spent many hours and long nights having behind closed door conversations with the fraternity men he advised, helping them through difficult situations and helping them see things from different perspectives than their own.

2009: Paula Zachary, Program Assistant for Judicial Affairs

2008: L'Tanya Richmond, Director of the Multicultural Center
Richmond supports and challenges Elon's multicultural students to perform to the best of thier abilities both in and out of the classroom.  She assists students in finding the resources to attend and prosper at Elon.

2006: Angela Passarelli, Director of the Center for Leadership
Passarelli received the Student Advocate Award for her work as advisor and mentor to the women of a struggling sorority chapter that she guided in returning to their founding principles.

Administrative Excellence Award

Presented annually to a program assistant who has gone above and beyond in terms of their dedication to customer service, professionalism, and dedication to the population they serve.

2016: Felicia Massey, Program Assistant - Student Development
Massey has a wonderful positive attitude and outlook on situations that she maintains every day.  She has dedicated her career to creating a professional, welcoming environment to all students at Elon.  She is a wealth of knowledge and provides an invaluable resource to all staff and student staff members.

2015: Nicole Bergen, Program Assistant for Campus Recreation
Bergen stepped up and changed her lifestyle around to be present for more hours, assisting in ResLife, and other duties as assigned or unassigned this year. Her hard work, passion for people, and positive attitude are recognized by all, and it is no surprise that students linger around her desk just to feel support, encouragement, and direction.

2014: Susan Lindley, Executive Assistant to the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students
Lindley serves as a mentor for all administrators on campus, including administrators in the faculty departments.  She is the “go to” person when there is a question that no one can answer, an issue that needs solving, or a suggestion on how to do something in a more productive way.  Her work is impeccable and her work ethic and professionalism are on a level the rest of us strive for.

2013: Jan Register, Program Assistant - Truitt Center for Religous and Spiritual Life
Register consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty in her work in the Truitt Center. She takes on an indispensable roll in the organizing, planning, and execution of beloved Elon programs including the Lights and Luminaries, Turning 21 Dinners, and Holi festival. She also gives endlessly of her time and energy through the relationships she builds with students.

2012: Libby Otos, Program Assistant - Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement
Otos received thei award for her commitment to customer service and continuous quality improvement which has helped make the Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement more effective and efficient.

Commitment to the Division of Student Life Award

presented annually to a staff member who has gone above and beyond for their job duties by supporting their own as well as other departments, attending divisional programs and events, and offering their assistance where needed.

2016: MarQuita Barker,Associate Director of Residence Life Operations and Information Management
Barker stepped up to cover responsibilities throughout multiple points during the year when staff she supervised left, her supervisor left, and her partner in completeing housing assignments became absent during the most crucial time. She is well known as a go-to member of the division for equity and inclusion work by attending and collaborating with other offices.

2015: Brandon MacCallum, Assistant Director of Campus Recreation
MacCallum is a prime example of a staff member who has gone above and beyond for the division this year taking on the Elon Outdoors and Challenge Course in addition to his other responsibilities.  He serves on the Danieley Multipurpose Activities Center project team, and collaborates across the division and the university. 

2014: Jaimie Biermann, Assistant Director of Residence Life, Danieley Center
Biermann is one of the first staff members to volunter to assist other departments/offices whenever needed.  She goes out of her way to connect with members of other departments so that she develops a strong relationship with them, and always maintains a positive attitude while helping out.

Program Awards

The Collaboration Award

Presented jointly to the division programs excelling in forming partnerships within and/or outside the division to advance student development.

2016: Campus Recreation and Health Promotion for Love Your Body Week
This year Campus Recreation and Health Promotions came together to really offer a solid message that we stand for the same thing - positive body image and productive messaging regarding one's health and self-worth. Theses departments got together along with some other student organizations to head a campus wide LOVE YOUR BODY WEEK of events.

2015: Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement, Center for Leadership, New Student and Transition Programs, Residence Life, and the Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life for Stop Hunger Now
The Stop Hunger Now event is a true collaboration that involves so many departments. This meal-packing event took place in August this year to coincide with orientation activities and allow new students (first-years and transfers) to be introduced to identity exploration and the deeply-rooted Elon tradition of service in their first few weeks on campus.

2014: Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement
The Kernolde Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement excels at forming partnerships with faculty and staff. They have very strong partnerships with the faculty who teach the Academic Service Learning Courses (ASL) and with their Service-Learning Faculty Scholars. This department invites staff members to participate and advise many of their programs such as alternative spring break experiences, MLK Day of Service, blood drives, etc..

2013: Office of Student Activities
The Office of Student Activities has become a helpful resource to all of student life. Other staff have numerous interactions with the Student Activities staff and students and their commitment to providing safe, fun activities and assisting other programs is something that does not go unrecognized. They are very generous with their resources and have provided much support and involvement to programs outside of their own over the past year.

2012: Center for Leadership and Multicultural Center for Intersect 2012 Conference
Combining two successful programs from previous years, the Diversity Leadership Conference and the Leadership Development Institute, 187 faculty, staff, and students from the Elon Community and 11 other institutions came together to learn about topics of leadership and diversity.

2009: Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service

2008: Residence Life, Greek Life and Physical Plant for Powerless and Recyclemania competitions
Through a dynamic collaboration, these three groups managed to conduct a campus wide competition and intuitive to reduce energy use and increase recycling.  Their work produced the highest results in Elon history.

2006: The Office of Greek Life
For its multiple partnerships throughout the year -- with Campus Recreation, Multicultural Affairs, Athletics, Religious and Spiritual Life, Take Back the Night, etc.

The Diversity and Global Engagement Award

presented to the division department or program that shows commitment to the first theme of the Elon Commitment – An unprecedented university commitment to diversity and global engagement.

2016: The Gap Program
Since its inception, this program has been committed to the first theme of the Elon Commitment. Since June of 2015, under the leadership of Elizabeth Coder, the GAP Program has made great strides in strengthening its existing educational components as they related to both diversity and global engagement.

2015: The Center for Race, Ethnicity, and Diversity Education (CREDE)
The CREDE staff has done a remarkable job this year revitalizing and re-inventing our Multicultural Center and making it easier for us to talk about difficult issues of race, privilege, identity, and difference.  The CREDE staff lead the campus through multiple difficult situations that helped all students, faculty, and staff grow and learn together.

2014: Hillel
Hillel has shown a commitment to diversity not only by supporting the growing Jewish community on campus but their outreach to all students, faculty, and staff.  Non-Jewish students, faculty, and community members attended the Passoever Seder, enjoyed Kosher-for-Passoever meals, attened Hillel's bagel brunhes and Shabbat dinners - gaining an understanding of Jewish Life and traditions.  

2013: Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement
The Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement consistently commits itself to helping students to engage with the world around them and to raising awareness about innumerable social issues.

2012: Elizabeth Nelson, Associate Director of Health Promotions & Coordinator for Inter-personal Relations and Community Wellbeing
Nelson received this award for her work in responding to acts of bias and discrimination and her professionalism and theoretical and scholarly knowledge in the area.

2011: Richard Baker, Assistant Director of Residence Life, West Area
An atypical winner, Baker demonstrated a dedication to social justice and helping those without a voice. Baker worked with many groups of people at Elon to challenge them to celebrate the dignity of difference.

2008: Pride Week
A week dedicated to educational and social activities to raise awareness about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues locally and globally.

2006: The Kernodle Center for Service Learning
For its ACE Program, designed to give students a transformative “Alamance County Experience.”

The Innovation Award

Presented to the division program that breaks new ground in serving and/or further developing the growth of students.

2016: Ripple Interfaith ConferenceTruitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life
Completely student initiated and run, this new program brought together over 50 students from 12 schools in the region to share and learn about interfaith, identity, leadership, and each other. The event was a collaboration between the university and the Interfaith Youth Core.

2015: Mindfullness, Jennifer Brigmann and Joel Harter
This new program is providing so many opportunities to promote health and well-being across campus. Through facilitating workshops, retreats, and presentations, Jennifer and Joel are raising awareness for both staff and students. 

2014: Battleship, Campus Recreation
This new event was spoken of highly by several students and through E-Net and ELN. This is a new way to get students involved in the pool while doing it in an exciting way. This event reached its capacity of 18 teams quickly, and had several spectators.

2013: LEAD Program, Steve Mencarini
The revamp of the Isabella Cannon Leadership Program into the LEAD program has tremendously increased the number of students impacted by the Center for Leadership, providing for lateral entry after the first year, and creating a transformation leadership education experience for all students.

2012: Gap Semester Program, Steve Morrison
The inaugural GAP Semester Program will take 15 students to the National Outdoor School in Wyoming, provide opportunities to perform service at 4 sites along the drive back to Elon, and culminate with a home-stay in Costa Rica in fall 2012.

2011: Laser Tag Tournament, Bobby Dunlap and Karley Counts
Providing an excellent low risk event for students, over 34 teams and 300 students participated in this two-week long event which started at Laser-X and ended on South Campus for the event final in the "Laserdome".

2009: Greek Leaders Retreat

2008: Office of Residence Life
Once again, the Office of Residence Life makes a good thing great!  This year as students signed up for future housing they were able to see a real-time listing of available spaces and make decisions without a significant wait.

2006: Office of Residence Life
For creating a new process for online housing applications and a Web site to improve communication with residents.

Dean’s Commendation Awards

Presented at the discretion of the Vice President for Student Life & Dean of Students to individuals or programs that exemplify the core values and advance the mission of the Student Life Division.


Anita Smith, - Grace Under Fire Award
Joel Harter and Diana Abrahams - Bailing Water Award
Tammy Hill and Kyle Whitaker - Answering the Call Award
Jordan King - Silent Warrior Award
Jenny Ciesiulka - The Magician Award


Joel Harter, for his ubiquitous and caring presence at important moments for our community.
Sylvia Muñoz, for the depth of her caring and her calming spirit in crisis.
Jessica Clark, for her professionalism and commitment to students who are survivors of Interpersonal Violence.
Debbie Norris, Brandon MacCallum, Alison Poliseno, Nicole Bergen, and Campus Recreation Student Staff, for their resilient spirit and a can-do attitudes.


Mary Morrison, leading the campus wide deliberative dialogue.
Whitney Gregory and Bruce Nelson, for always being a phone call away when students are in need.
Janis Baughman and Adam Bell, for the success of the reworked tailgating setup.


Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life Staff,, Well adjusted award for moving to multiple spaces around campus. Steve Morrison,Miles from nowhere for completing a successful first year of the GAP program.
Jana Lynn Patterson,for boldy going where no one has gone before with Health Services' new space.


Henry Walling, for boldly going where no one has gone before with implementing S.P.A.C.E.S.
Nancy Luberoff, for making a lot happen out of a little.
Phil Smith, for always providing excellent response as A.O.C., Cl.O.C, D.O.R., and S.A.O.C.


Brian Collins and Melissa Jordan for going the extra mile to transport students to the funeral of a classmate.
Lauren Flinn and TJ Bowie through thick and thin.
Michelle Kusel for making the division proud with her research and publications.


Danny Glassman for his constant positive attitude and utmost professionalism through any situation.
Whitney Pack for overcoming adversity and working to uphold the high standards of Judicial Affairs through tough times.
Lauren Martin for securing federal funding in excess of $200,000 for the work of the Office of Substance Education.
Michael Williams, Jay Anhorn, Janis Baughman, Paula Zachary, Sarah Barnes, and Clifton Johnson Spirit of the Phoenix.
Bruce Nelson and Clifton Johnson for responding quickly and effectively to events both on campus and abroad.


Peter Tulchinsky for increasing campus recreation participation across the board with five fewer playing fields.
Joette Boone for persistence to achieve academic excellence under challenging circumstances.
Jeanette Drake for excellence in adapting to her surroundings and taking on any role necessary to keep the department operating.
JJ Scott for organizing, facilitating and participating in 10 Hurricane Katrina awareness service trips over the last two years.
Melissa Jordan and Susan Lindley for overcoming extraordinary circumstances to provide the highest customer service to the hundreds of Oaks residents delayed by construction.
Phil Smith for always being available, present and an invaluable resource for students no matter the place or time.


Amy Jones for Student Involvement through successful campus concerts.
Carol Oakley for Teamwork with multiple university functions.
Janis Baughman for service “Beyond the Call of Duty” in Student Activities and the Moseley Center
Carrie Ryan for doing “Whatever It Takes” as Administrator on Call.
Deborah Murphy for “Baptism by Fire” serving as Counselor on Call.
Michael Williams for “Sticking to the Knitting” in making sure that the Moseley Center serves the need of the entire campus.