Meet the Class of 2021 Leadership Fellows

Kristin Amrine was born in Washington D.C, but grew up in Cincinnati, OH. She attended Anderson High School where she was very involved in multiple programs. Kristin was president of Drama Club at Anderson and also president of Teacher Academy, a class offered to a selective amount of students which provided multiple teaching options and college classes for education. Through Teacher Academy, Kristin was able to teach in a high school, middle school, upper and lower elementary setting. She spent two semesters teaching both fourth grade math and kindergarten, which led her to choose an elementary education major here at Elon. Kristin also worked to create the “Orange Heart Program” within her high school. Kristin built the Orange Heart Program in order to build a teacher-student relationship for times when students needed mentoring and support. This program was also created in mind of rising suicide rates within high schools. Through the Orange Heart Program, which became very successful in Kristin’s school, three lives were saved. Kristin also worked to create a Relay for Life Team for her school. She previously worked as the high school representative for a local elementary school and helped to raise over $64,000 for the American Cancer Society. Kristin is also very dedicated to working to help the world hunger crisis. She organized the “30 Hour Famine” event at her church which helps high schoolers experience hunger. This program helps to raise awareness and money for hunger in third world countries. Kristin also served as the community service commissioner at her high school which put her in charge of community service events for the entire school. She also worked as a Link Leader, or a senior leader for two years to help incoming freshman in their transition into high school. In her free time, Kristin loves to participate in theatre. She was in 13 different shows, wrote and directed three films, and also participated in making 26 other films for her school. Kristin also loves to sing, dance and run. She ran cross country for six years, and broke a school record as a senior leader! She is super excited about continuing to grow as a leader at Elon as a Leadership Fellow!

"There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about and that is not being talked about." -Oscar Wilde

Katherine Axness, also known as Kate, is from Collegeville, PA, a small town outside of Philadelphia. During her time at Mount Saint Joseph Academy, she was involved in a wide variety of clubs and organizations. When she was not painting or dancing after school, she was discussing ideas and events that could better her school community as a student council representative and as an I Am That Girl (IATG) local school chapter founder. With this female empowerment program, she helped provide a safe space for her fellow students to own their perfect flaws and to speak their truths about important global and local issues. Although she is unsure of what clubs and organizations she wants to be a part of during her time in college, she hopes to continue being involved in an IATG by joining Elon’s chapter. Also, she plans to major in dance performance and choreography and dance science on a pre-med track, with a minor in leadership studies. Kate is looking forward to having the opportunity to explore her passions in the performing arts and sciences at Elon and possibly studying abroad.

"Be the dry sponge. Be the empty canvas." -Unknown

Riley W. Bradford graduated from Covenant Christian Academy in Peabody, MA. During his time at Covenant, he created and led an improv club, was editor-in-chief of the newspaper, and was an active member of the National Honor Society. In addition, Riley also was involved in numerous theatrical productions, ranging from High School Musical to 12 Angry Men. Riley's been passionate his whole life about comedy and social justice, and how the two can go together. While Admissions Prefect at his school, Riley vigorously advocated for LGBTQIA rights and worked to ensure that all students felt accepted in the community. In his free time, Riley loves meditation, comedy, and ultimate frisbee. He hopes to graduate from Elon with a cinema and television arts BFA and go on to write comedy on a professional level.

"You only have one spark of madness. You mustn't lose it." -Robin Williams

Zachary Charles attended high school at the Park School of Baltimore in Baltimore, MD, where he graduated in 2017. During his time at Park, he was involved with a number of extracurricular activities, including athletic teams as well as clubs. He was a co-captain of the varsity baseball team his junior and senior years, as well as a member of the varsity soccer team. In addition, he participated in the bee keeping club and was co-leader of Park and the League for People with Disabilities (PaL). In his work with PaL, he found a passion for helping others, especially around the world. Thus, he plans to major in Spanish or romance languages, and use that knowledge as a platform to visit other countries and help those in need.

"A life is only meaningful in the impact it has on other lives." -Jackie Robinson

Alexandra Covello, also known by Alex, grew up in Lawrenceville, NJ and graduated from Notre Dame High School as part of the class of 2017. While in high school she founded and was president of a school charity club called Soup, Service and Scripture. She also had many other leadership roles such as being a senior editor for the high school's literary magazine, ETC., as well as being a peer leader. She participated in two county mock trial competitions, was an active member of the Art Club, Campus Ministry, and was a student mentor to the youth group at her local church. She is also a winner of the IACE and Eataly's collaborative “Food in Focus” photography contest as well as the highly-esteemed title of class clown of her high school. Alex played varsity volleyball and is looking to continue to play intramural at Elon. She is also looking to study communications and cinema and become involved in many outreach programs. She plans to continue to pursue leadership roles in college.

"Sometimes I'll start a sentence and I don't even know where it's going I just hope I find it along the way." -Michael Scott

Benjamin Cyzner is from Charlotte, NC where he graduated from Providence High School. Throughout his highschool years Benjamin pursued his passion for entrepreneurship and finance, having started his first investment portfolio at age 13. His first business venture started with a peer from school, successfully developing an application for the iPhone and later selling the application. Post this initial success, building upon his foundational knowledge gained, Benjamin decided to start another company, strictly online, for selling phone accessories. Currently, Benjamin is working on the development of a non-profit with a colleague at Elon, hoping its success will imbue a sense of change and social consciousness about very real issues. Although his love for business is strong across all domains, Benjamin is also a car enthusiast, a backcountry skier, and music lover. While at Elon, Benjamin is looking to continue his learning and dedication to business by majoring in finance or economics as well as a minor in leadership studies.

"Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts." -Winston S. Churchill

Anna DuBro grew up in Falls Church City, VA where she graduated from George Mason High School in 2017. Anna was the co-founder and president of the Jewish Culture Club and the vice president of the International Club. She was a two-year varsity lacrosse captain and helped lead her team to becoming the 2017 state champions. Anna was the student speaker at the 2016 World Affair's Council-DC Global Education Gala where she gave a speech about the importance of global education and cultural immersion. At Elon, Anna hopes to major in political science and Spanish with a minor in leadership studies. She is interested in criminal justice, animal welfare, and politics. She is looking forward to studying abroad in a Spanish-speaking country and being involved with some of Elon's political clubs.

"Well-behaved women seldom make history." -Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Michael Fanning is an Oregon native who lived his past four years in Westport, CT. He graduated from Staples High School after winning his senior year baseball state championship. Michael was the president of the Barbeque Club which helped raise $1,500 for homeless veterans his senior year. He also achieved his Eagle Scout his senior year, something he had been working on for eight years. On campus, he plans to get involved with the radio show, political clubs, and baseball team. He plans on exploring majors in the business field.

"Don't just check the box, fill it." -My dad

Ashley Hanlon was born and raised in Massachusetts in a small town known as Sherborn, located just outside of Boston. During her high school career Ashley was a member of the National Honor Society and was enrolled in numerous advanced level academic courses. To keep busy, Ashley worked in the restaurant industry over the summer months and as a part-time nanny during the school year. To stay involved with her high school she volunteered to be the sports team’s manager and attended every game. As her health-related interests grew, Ashley applied and was accepted into a medical emersion youth leadership forum allowing her to tour schools, attend seminars, and observe procedures over the course of a few weeks. During her junior year in high school when she was not working or at school, she also volunteered her time at the local hospital rotating through the various wings shadowing doctors, which only added to her growing interest in the medical field. At Elon, Ashley is planning on an exercise science major with a double minor in neuroscience and leadership studies. As for Elon extracurriculars, Ashley hopes to become certified and involved in Elon’s EMT program, conduct undergraduate research, join the Elon Brain Care Team, and study abroad through one of the medical brigade programs.

"Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive." -Elbert Hubbard

Nikki Inocencio was born in Greensboro, NC, but grew up in Durham for most of her life, where she graduated from high school at Durham Academy. Nikki has always had a strong passion for music. After taking up violin lessons at the age of eight, she soon taught herself to play the guitar, piano, ukulele, and drums, and began writing and recording her own music when she was ten. She played a large role in the music department at her high school, where she was the violinist of the school’s auditioned Jazz-Rock ensemble, In The Pocket, sang in the auditioned a cappella group, XIV Hours, was principal chair of the pit band for three years, and received the underclassmen music award. During her sophomore year, Nikki’s family moved to Alaska for her mom’s job transfer. However, they decided that staying in Durham to finish high school was best for Nikki’s education, so she moved in with different friends’ families until college. From her graduating class of approximately one hundred, ten students are attending Elon University. At Elon, she is hoping to pursue a music career by majoring in music production and recording arts. In addition to being a Leadership Fellow, Nikki is also a proud Odyssey Scholar, excited for the next four years.

“The world is before you and you need not take it or leave it as it was when you came in.” -James Baldwin

Jenna Jones was born in the Northern Marianas Islands and grew up in Guam. She graduated from the Academy of our Lady of Guam in 2017. Back home, she participated in various extracurricular activities. Jenna was a student council representative, where she helped to lead a campaign to ban styrofoam from the school campus, she was also the class treasurer, the vice president of Interact, a student led rotary club, the president of a nonprofit company called Collar Couture which raised money for homeless animals in the community, as well as heading the marketing team for her school which handled the school’s social media and all other forms of recruitment. Jenna was also involved in various other activities such as Relay for Life team, Spirit Club, the Soroptimist Club, and she was a morning announcer. For the last three years Jenna served as a marketing intern to Triple J Enterprises, where she helped to create commercials and managed the social media accounts as well as the websites and app for the company. Jenna is a marketing major and is considering a minor in poverty and social justice and can’t wait to become involved on Elon’s campus.

"Don't let the world change your smile but let your smile change the world." -Connor Franta

Remy Lawson grew up in a small Massachusetts town, just outside of Boston. She attended Medfield High School, where she discovered a passion for leadership and service. After a riveting mission trip to Nicaragua her sophomore year, she was compelled to make a difference. She started a club at her school called “Warriors Reaching Out.” Her club met once a month and planned clothing drives to support American communities. Globally, however, they fundraised money to sponsor a child’s education in Nicaragua. Remy was also an active member of Student Council for three years, and was later elected the Student Council secretary for her last year. In this leadership role, she oversaw the Council, played a huge role in planning the pep rally, communicated with administration about upcoming events, and pushed new ideas. In addition, she led a bullying prevention club at her school, Project Teamwork. They prepared and facilitated presentations for middle school students enhancing the power of a bystander through games and meaningful discussions. Remy hopes to continue her leadership and service efforts at Elon while she pursues a major in business.

"Enjoy the little things in life." -Unknown

Brian Mischler was born and raised in Maple Glen, PA. Only being a half an hour away from Philadelphia, Brian started his love affair with Philly cheesesteaks and a northern lifestyle. However, after attending La Salle College High School, a Catholic all-boys college preparatory school ten minutes away from his house, Brian wanted to indulge himself into other cultures in a southern environment. Besides just experiencing college, Brian wanted to lead and learn to become the best version of himself. Luckily, he had history in leadership positions previous to his enrollment in Elon University. He was the leader of the Student Ambassadors and took control of his class for tours of the school and the organization of the open house for his high school. Brian also had many different jobs throughout his high school career. He worked in warehouses for shipping companies, served wraps and salads at a healthy “fast food” restaurant, and helped manage a fitness center. However, his favorite job was being a camp counselor for three years, which allowed him to be promoted to senior counselor. This title allowed for him to not just create recreational activities for the middle school students and tutor them but also supervise the camp counselors. This job was his favorite because it allowed him to be creative but also look out for others in a caring manner. This job every summer was the reason why he decided to apply for being a retreat leader for the senior retreat his school provided to form brotherly bonds and to allow students to find inner peace. Fortunately, he did get the position and after that he has always been interested in helping others with internal conflicts and helping his fellow classmates. He hopes to join the organization for retreats at Elon and help create special and effective retreats. Brian also hopes to major in accounting and including his minor in leadership, he wants to make sure he receives good grades for him to be offered a stable job.

“Leaders never lose; they either win or learn.” -Nelson Mandela

Lindsey Patterson is from Dedham, MA and graduated from Ursuline Academy, an all-girls Catholic school for grades 7-12.  In high school, she was the president of her student body and created an “Unsung Hero Award” for students who contribute to their community in ways that are not traditionally recognized. She also was a founding member of Ursuline’s first acapella group, “The Bearitones.” Additionally, she played soccer throughout her life and was named captain of the varsity team her junior year. Outside of school, Lindsey runs her own portrait business, linzpatphotography. She also is extremely passionate about community service. Throughout high school she completed over 300 hours of community service including a service trip her senior year to Camden, NJ to serve the homeless population. Lindsey is pursuing a double major in marketing and strategic communications with a minor in leadership studies. She is overjoyed to be a part of the leadership fellows and can’t wait to see what great things her cohort will accomplish.

"Photography is an art of observation. It has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them." -Elliot Erwitt

Alexa Rasmussen grew up in Medway, MA with her two sisters, her parents, and her two teacup poodles. She graduated from Medway High School and is now a first year at Elon University. In high school Alexa was very engaged in studying social justice and taking what she learned and applying it outside the classroom in political offices. Alexa worked for congressman Joe Kennedy for two years and Senator Elizabeth Warren for one year. Her favorite political activity was dealing with immigration issues such as working with green cards and travel visas. Alexa's lure to immigration stems from a community service trip she took her junior year of high school. Alexa went to Guanajuato, Mexico for four weeks to engage in community service through the repair and construction of houses, in addition to teaching English to the locals and playing sports with the community children. Alexa's host family left a special impact on her life and helped her come to the decision that she would like to be on a pre-law track in order to become an immigration lawyer one day and therefore help families like the one she lived with in Mexico to make coming to America a more accessible idea. In school, Alexa was the founder and president of the Debate Club, where she was able to foster a forum for students to practice debate and voice their opinion on controversial topics without fear of judgement. Alexa is very excited to see what the future at Elon holds for her and to get involved with organizations such as the Community Service Club and the Student Government Association. She plans on majoring in political science and English with minors in Spanish and leadership studies.

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." –Mahatma Gandhi

Eliana Sakin is from Baltimore, MD, where she attended The Park School of Baltimore from kindergarten through graduation. In high school Eliana was a tour guide for the admissions office as well as a student leader for The Mentors Program, teaching life skills classes to seventh grade students. Eliana was captain of varsity lacrosse and field hockey, leading her field hockey team to a conference championship her senior year. Eliana has been dancing her whole life, and became involved in theater in high school, performing in and choreographing The Addams Family and The Sound of Music. At Elon, Eliana is a BFA dance performance and choreography major and plans to add a second major.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” –Margaret Mead

Mykenzi Sanders grew up in North Sandwich, NH and graduated from Inter-Lakes High School in Meredith. Throughout high school Mykenzi was involved in theater, dance, National Honor Society, and student council among others. Some of her favorite performances she has partaken in include The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, The Nutcracker, and Sleeping Beauty. She has held leadership positions such as secretary and treasurer of her class, member chair of Interact Club, and captain of color guard all four years of high school. Mykenzi is currently a dance science major with the hope of becoming a physical therapist. She is excited to be a part of the Leadership Fellows cohort of 2021 and cannot wait to see all the growth she and her peers will experience throughout their time here at Elon.

"I may be quiet, but I am not blind." -Jane Austen

Samantha Steinman grew up in Leesburg, VA where she graduated from Middleburg Academy in May of 2017. During her time in high school, Sam held many leadership roles such as class president in her junior year, as well as yearbook editor, president of Green Club, and alumni ambassador in her senior year. In 2016, Sam was selected to travel to Antigua, Guatemala for a week to build a house for a family of indigenous Maya and take part in cultural immersion activities. Since Guatemala, Sam’s passion for Spanish has continued to grow, resulting in her consideration of a double major in communications and Spanish.

“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, 'It will be happier…'” -Alfred Tennyson

Jack Taylor was raised in Sterling, VA along with his twin brother Owen and younger brother Austin. He attended Potomac Falls High School, graduating with honors and as a recipient of the Panther Award, given to the member of the graduating class who represented the core values of the school the most. Jack was a very vibrant presence in student life and an active member in two honor societies and various clubs including Key Club, the Announcements Team, and the orientation team called Link Crew. While being members in those clubs, Jack pursued leadership positions in his class advisory boards and Student Council Association (SCA) and volunteered for many school and community wide projects, including developing and chairing his high school’s first-ever leadership conference for high school students. In his senior year, Jack served as the SCA’s student liaison, where he brought together the student body and his fellow officers to determine what the students wanted from their SCA. Outside of school, Jack was an office volunteer and fundraiser for the Sjögrens Syndrome Foundation, a disease his grandmother suffers from, and he has been a competitive ballroom dancer since he was nine years old. After learning about Elon in September of his senior year, Jack immediately fell in love with the school and their communications program. At Elon, Jack is a communications major with minors in marketing and leadership studies, and is hoping to find a career in creative media or advertising. Outside of academics, Jack is hoping to add his voice and ideas to various organizations.

"People find meaning and redemption in the most unusual human connections." -Khaled Hosseini

Chandler Vaughan, informally known as "Chan," was born in Durham, NC at Duke University. Two years later she moved to Baltimore, MD. The summer before sixth grade, she moved to Charlotte, NC. Chandler grew to love Charlotte and immediately became active in her community in and out of school. She graduated from Mallard Creek High School in the top ten percent of her class as the public relations manager for her school's executive class council, varsity cheerleader, officer of the Environmental Club, senior Girl Scout of Troop 699, and Miss Delta Legacy for the Charlotte chapter of Delta Sigma Theta. She obtained her Silver Award as a Girl Scout and won athlete and student of the month numerous times. Currently, Chandler has a strong interest in the strategic communications and Spanish majors. She aspires to be a public relations manager for a nonprofit organization that works overseas, in a Spanish speaking country, to better the community. Chandler hopes to join a various number of clubs and organizations, and study abroad. 

"Anything is possible if you've got enough nerve." -J.K. Rowling