Elon Alumni Association

Elon alumni speak about undergraduate research

In October 2010, the Council on Undergraduate Research and the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research celebrated the merging of their organizations with a gala at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. The event included a slide show highlighting undergraduate research students from various institutions across the country. Because of Elon's commitment to undergraduate research and the recognition its students have received over the years, CUR and NCUR asked to include several Elon alumni in the presentation. The following graduates shared their thoughts on undergraduate research at Elon and how those experiences have benefited them in their careers or in graduate school.


"Faculty can make or break the undergraduate research experience, and Elon does a marvelous job engaging students' learning and research experiences with faculty mentors who truly want to work with students to expand their intellectual horizons. This type of learning is the hallmark of a liberal arts education and I believe that students who are part of this type of learning environment graduate from college more prepared to enter the job market, graduate school or long-term, service-oriented careers."

Stephanie Newbold '01
B.A., Political Science
M.A. (2003), Ph.D. (2006), Public Administration, Virginia Tech
Assistant Professor of Public Administration, American University


"Elon University was the perfect fit for me. My undergraduate research experience taught me how to think innovatively. I had the opportunity to be involved in several research projects and gain exposure to every aspect of the research process, from designing a study to implementation and data analysis. Elon allowed me to cultivate a truly unique research experience. Because of my experience at Elon, I am a better researcher and scholar."

Elizabeth Chmelo '05
B.S., Exercise Science
M.S., Exercise Science, Wake Forest University 2007

Clinical Study Coordinator, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center


"Without participating in an undergraduate research program, I would not have discovered my true passion for research. These experiences enabled me to gain admission to a top-rated graduate program in chemistry. Working side-by-side with my faculty mentor helped me prepare for future instances when I would be expected to work as an independent researcher in my field."

Mary Caruso '06
B.S., Chemistry
Ph.D., Chemistry, University of Illinois 2010
Product Development Chemist, 3M Company


"Only through undergraduate research did I realize my passion for scientific pursuits. It's through those early experiences that I first felt empowered to ask difficult questions and devise creative means to answer them. Now, the same passion for research I developed as an undergraduate is fueling me through late nights as a doctoral student."

Geoffrey Lynn '07
B.S., Chemistry
M.D., Johns Hopkins School of Medicine 2014
Ph.D., Medical Sciences, Oxford University 2014


"Undergraduate research provided me a way to satisfy my intellectual curiosity and was the driving force behind my current ambitions to profoundly impact the profession of physical therapy by using research to enhance patient care. I am thankful to my mentors and to Elon for the support I received and for helping me take the first step of many toward a career that merges research and clinical practice."

Jacqueline Del Giorno '08
B.S., Exercise Science
DPT, Duke University 2011


"My experience as an undergraduate researcher transformed something I had to do to fill a requirement into an opportunity that has permeated every aspect of my life. It has provided me with the skills vital to admission to a top graduate program, helped me foster relationships with scholars in similar fields and completely different disciplines, and taught me the importance of sharing research not only to inform but also to encourage change."

Larissa Ferretti '09
B.A., Psychology
Ph.D., Human Development and Family Studies, Auburn University 2014



"Looking back, research helped shape my college career for the better. It opened doors, built friendships, helped me develop expertise, inspired curiosity, and became the foundation for my career and intellectual growth. I hope to continue writing and publishing research in the near future."

Kristine Silvestri '10
B.A., Political Science
Health Insurance Specialist, Office of Consumer Information and Oversight
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services