Meet the Adventures in Leadership Staff for 2016

Student Coordinator

Meredith Piatt

Hometown: Elon, NC
Favorite part of AIL:
Trying new things and developing a strong leadership style.
Favorite AIL memory: Tackling the biggest rapids in a boat full of new friends.
Do not forget: A water bottle, a toothbrush, and a smile!
Bio: I am a sophomore majoring in Human Service Studies and minoring in Communications and Business Administration. I love Netflix documentaries, exploring the outdoors, and eating all of the food. As an incoming first year, AIL was hands down the best experience I could have ever participated in.  The lessons that the facilitators and the advisors taught me have shaped me into who I am today as a leader, student, and now coordinator of Adventures in Leadership!  I hope that everyone who participates in this experience learns something new and enjoys every second of camping, hiking, rock climbing, and rafting!


Student Facilitators

Madi Norton

Hometown: Littleton, CO
Favorite part of AIL: Bonding with my group on the river and repelling!
Favorite AIL memory:  My favorite memory was on the river with my small group, when we went from laughing until our sides were sore to immediately working as a team to tackle class 4 rapids.
Do not forget: Socks! (you will need them), a good backpack, and a positive attitude.
Bio:I am a class of 2019 Psychology major with a double minor in chemistry and art. I grew up in Colorado so I love being outside: skiing, hiking, mountain biking, swimming, it's all for me. AIL was by far the best transition that I could have made into college. It can be so intimidating coming into a school where you know no one, but after completing AIL, I now have life long friends that I knew on campus. I can't wait to meet everyone and watch how much y'all grow in such a short time!



Mikey Gibeley

Hometown: Topsfield, MA
Favorite part of AIL: The feeling of success and happiness after challenging yourself to step out of your comfort zone.
Favorite AIL memory: Singing throwback songs during the long van rides
Do not forget: Water bottle, multiple pairs of shoes, soap, positive attitude
Bio: I am a ’19 Psychology and Human Services Studies double major with a minor in Criminal Justice Studies. I enjoy cuddling with my dogs, hibernating in my living room during shark week, complimenting my roommates, getting far too invested in Survivor, and playing tennis. I am involved in the Leaders in a Global World Living Learning Community, the LEAD program, Etalk, and am a Peer Educator for Diversity Emerging Education Program (D.E.E.P.). I never thought living out of a tent and adventuring in the outdoors would be my thing, but I love AIL more than anything. I’m so excited to meet and make memories with all of the new additions to our AIL family!


Taylor Cassidy

Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
Favorite part of AIL: Meeting all sorts of people from all around the country, and also being pushed outside of my comfort zone!
Favorite AIL memory: Singing songs with my group while we were white water rafting.
Do not forget: A sleeping bag, sandals, and a smile!
Bio: I am a '19 Dance Performance & Choreography and Dance Science double major with possibly a psychology minor.  I love laughing, singing, dancing, and taking pictures!  I have a huge sweet tooth and I will never turn down a bag of popcorn.  Doing AIL last summer was the best possible way to start college, and I immediately stepped on campus with a group of friends and older students who I could look to for help.  You will be amazed with how much you learn about yourself during this week. I can't wait to see and meet you all!


Hanna Kraus

Hometown: Madison, CT
Favorite part of AIL: White Water Rafting and all the amazing friends I made
Favorite AIL memory: Singing at the top of my lungs in the van rides
Favorite AIL activity: The hike because the view is indescribable
Don’t Forget: Your raincoat, an open mind, and a positive attitude!
Bio: I’m a rising sophomore planning on majoring in Psychology, with a minor in either marketing or sport and event management. I love skiing, hiking, long walks on the beach, and playing with my dogs. I absolutely love being outside no matter the weather, and can usually be found looking for new outdoor adventures.  AIL was the most incredible experience and the perfect way to start off college!


Marley Goetz

Hometown: Lexington, VA
Favorite part of AIL: Hiking out to see the beautiful views and wonderful campsite conversations
Favorite AIL memory: Spending time with my fellow participants on the river overnight, it’s a blast!
Do not forget: An awesome pair of water shoes and athletic/hiking shoes with lots of pairs of clean dry socks so that your feet stay happy!
Bio: I am a chemical engineering major with a love for elephants and coffee. I also have a dog which is important to know because he's wonderful. You can find me curled up in my eno outside to study or in my room wrapped around a cup of tea watching Friends and Grey's Anatomy. For me doing AIL was the best decision for getting ready for freshman year. The friends I made on my trip are some of my closest friends on campus. I am so incredibly excited to meet all of you. I can’t wait to have you all get an awesome intro to the Elon family while adventuring in the wild and wonderful West Virginia!


Jack Hartmann

Hometown: Seneca, SC
Favorite part of AIL: Team building at the Challenge Course
Favorite AIL Memory: Telling stories and laughing at jokes on the rafts
Do Not Forget: Water bottle, Shoes to get wet, Towel
Bio: I am originally from California, but recently moved to South Carolina. I am a ’19 Honors Fellow majoring in Statistics, with minors in Biology and Finance. I enjoy staying active and being competitive, as well as exploring areas near by. Additionally, I love photography, all types of sports, and good Mexican food.



Lyn Nelson

Hometown: Chapel Hill, NC
Favorite Part of AIL: Team building and a sense of community!
Favorite AIL memory: Decorating our white water rafting helmets! My group was the whales, and we nailed it.
Do not forget to bring: Comfortable water shoes, and a fire playlist for the van ride.
Bio: Let me start by telling you a few of the wonderful things AIL has done for me. Not only was AIL one of the best weeks of my summer, it has continued to support me during my time here on campus. I was away on a gap semester during the fall of my freshman year, so coming into winter term I was a bit worried everyone would already have established networks, but hey so did I! Although AIL happened months before I even moved onto campus, they ARE my network. I have already lost count of the amount of times I have gone to lunch with old AIL friends, and the amount of times I have briefly stopped to chat and catch up with AIL people on the way to class. When my new suitemates ask how I already know so many people, my usual response is- oh they did AIL.  Can't wait to meet you all!


Alex Pfeiff

Hometown: Huntingtown, MD
Favorite AIL memory: The entire group all together and getting to know each other at the campsites.
Favorite AIL activity: White Water Rafting!
Don’t forget this item: A durable water bottle and a willingness to meet new people
About me: I am currently a first year student and I am still deciding on a potential major. I love being outside, golfing, fishing and had an absolute blast as a participant with Adventures in Leadership and can’t wait to be a facilitator.




Faculty/Staff Advisors

Brandon MacCallum

Hometown: Murphy, NC
Favorite part of AIL: Seeing students going out of their comfort zone and challenging themselves.
Favorite AIL memory: The first time seeing the view of the New River Gorge from the peak of the hike. It is breath taking!
Do not forget : Sunscreen, Nalgene or Water Bottle, and Water Shoes/Sandals
Bio: I began working at Elon in 2012 as the Assistant Director of Campus Recreation, and I have co-supervised the AIL Program since that time. I also oversee several aspects of Campus Recreation including Intramural Sports, Elon Outdoors, Challenge Course and the Driving Range. I grew up in the Appalachian Mountains and have a passion for the outdoors, and the leadership skills that are learned in the outdoors. We have an amazing program prepared for you and hope that you decide to join us this summer!


Evan Small

Hometown: Burlington, NC
Favorite part of AIL: I love the First-Year Summer Experiences because they provide a great opportunity for students to meet each other and form a connection before arriving on campus in the fall.
Favorite AIL memory: Every year, my favorite part is the relationships I get to make with the students I meet.
Bio: I am the Assistant Director of Student Programs in the Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement. My main focus is experiential education programming for students at Elon and helping them make the most of their experience here, both in and out of the classroom.


Dana Carnes

Hometown: Brook Park, OH
Favorite part of AIL:  Watching students make friendships that will last a lifetime.
Favorite AIL memory: This will be my first AIL experience so I am looking forward to creating new memories
Bio: I arrived at Elon in June 2013 and serve as the Associate Director of the Center for Leadership. My job includes overseeing the LEAD Program, the Intersect: Diversity and Leadership Conference, the Leaders in a Global World Living Learning Community, and co-supervising the AIL Program. I am a passionate Cleveland sports fan, unfortunately, and a proud alumna of the Ohio State University…go Bucks! I enjoy working out, reading, cooking, and spending time with my dachshund. I love having the opportunity to teach leadership development skills to Elon students.


Carol Smith

Hometown: Originally from Andover, MA, but call Gibsonville, NC home now.
Favorite part of AIL: Getting to work with incoming students – seeing them learn more about themselves while in the out of doors.
Favorite AIL memory: It is hard to pick just one – this will be the eight consecutive year I have been lucky enough to mentor the AIL experience, and I have favorite moments from each year!  Getting to know the students ranks top each year!
Do not forget : Water Bottle, Sunscreen, positive attitude and maybe your pillow
Bio: I am an associate professor and teach Adventure Based Learning, Physical Education and Health Education, and study abroad (to New Zealand).  I grew up camping and being outside playing – not much has changed ?.   I am the program coordinator for the new Adventure Based Learning minor.