Corner Office

Vickie Obenchain ’03 working with students

Vickie Obenchain ’03 is a science teacher at Saklan Valley School in Moraga, Calif. As someone who educates others on the benefits of environmental sustainability, she is an expert on protecting the future of our planet. Here are Vickie’s tips for staying green in 2009…

Bring your own mug. Not only does a mug have a longer shelf life than a paper cup, but you also could receive a discount from many coffee shops that encourage customers to bring in reusable mugs.

Maintain your vehicle. Keeping your tires properly inflated and getting regular tune-ups will help you burn less gas.

Install a programmable thermostat. This allows you to turn down the heat for long periods of time, such as at night or while you are at work, and can lower your overall energy consumption.

Wash full loads. Whether you are doing laundry or washing dishes, make sure you have a full load before pushing start. You’ll use less energy and water than if you run twice as many half-filled loads.

Turn off your computer and monitor. Automatically switching to sleep mode or manually turning monitors off at night is easy and energy efficient.
Top 5 to Thrive

Geoff Childs ’06
Geoff Childs ’06 and Laura Bartholomay Childs ’05

Meet Geoff Childs ’06…a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army who is serving in Iraq. Geoff has been overseas since June 2008 and is expected to return this summer or fall. Check out the top 5 things he’s learned while being deployed…

1.Never complain, things could always be worse. You might think a military base with four computers for everyone to share and only one big TV is bad, until you move to a new base where you sleep in tents and don’t even have a port-a-potty.

The most random things make you think of home. A visit to my platoon from reality TV star Matt Roloff demonstrated that EVERY guy had a story about his show, “Little People, Big World.”

3. Kids grow up too fast.
That is why I keep in touch with my 19-month-old son, Grant, by webcam and lots of e-mails.

E-mails are great, but there’s nothing better than good ol’ snail mail. It’s amazing how random care packages and handwritten letters can make you feel special.

5. Heaven on earth is Vesuvio's pizza and a cold beer. I am so looking forward to that first meal at home.
Back in the Bubble

Alamance Building

Enjoy 2009 with amazing benefits for young alumni!

• Missed us at Homecoming?
Check out pictures of alumni back at Elon or take a video tour of the new buildings on campus. See you at Homecoming, October 23-25!

• Are you on Facebook?
Join the “Young Alumni of Elon” group and search for your local alumni chapter's group.

Volunteer to come back to Elon for our “Destination…” series and tell Elon students what life is like in your city. During February and March, we will be featuring Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh, Washington, D.C., NYC, and Boston.

• Sign up for the Elon Career Network and be a career contact for Elon students and alumni. Alumni can also network for their own careers.

Check out IGNITE, Elon’s new young alumni giving program. You can give more by giving less: The convenient monthly payment option allows you to spread your gift payments over 12 months.

• Going on a service trip or doing volunteer work at home? Contact Lindsay Hege to receive a Phoenix doll that can accompany you on your trip. Take pictures and you could be featured on the alumni Web site!

The Buzz

Lindsay Gross Hege '04

Another year over, a new one just begun. We are very excited about all the changes happening at Elon in 2009 and believe that our focus as alumni this year should be on service. We’ve started off with these thoughts from Geoff Childs ’06, a soldier stationed in Iraq, and tips from Vickie Obenchain ’03 on staying green.

There are tons of opportunities for you to give back by getting involved at Elon. One way is through the Young Alumni Council, which accepts applications for new members every summer. On January 1, 15 new members were added to the Young Alumni Council by our new President Caroline Sage ’02.

There are also many opportunities listed in the Back In the Bubble column to sign up as an alumni speaker, join the Elon Career Network, or by taking the Phoenix doll with you to a service project. There are always opportunities for Elon alumni to speak in classes to current students, or to help out on the alumni boards of your local chapters.

No matter how you choose to give back in 2009, make sure to let us know where your work has taken you. Contact Lindsay Hege at to volunteer for Elon service or to let us know what’s going on in your life.

Using the arrows at the top of the calendar, scroll through different months. Click on an event to receive more information. You can also add the event to your personal calendar by clicking on the Calendar box.