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Meet the S.M.A.R.T. Mentors

 

Aiden Ganzert

Year at Elon: Junior 
Major: Environmental Studies 
Hometown: Winston Salem, NC 
Other Involvement on Campus: Elon College Fellow, Delta Delta Delta
Why I Became a Mentor: I became a mentor because I love Elon and I want to show incoming students all that the school has to offer.
Best Memory about being a First Year Student/Something I Struggled With: Freshman year is fun because you are given so many opportunities to try different things, but this can be overwhelming at times.
Inspirational Quote: "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." -Ferris Bueller


Aiyana Williams 

Year at Elon: Senior 
Major: Strategic Communication
Hometown: Springfield, VA
Other Involvement on Campus: Varsity Women's Basketball, Office of Admissions, PRSSA, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., NPHC 
Why I Became a Mentor: As both a senior and a University Guide, I've learned a lot about the Elon experience that has or would have aided my academic and personal success. I would love to share that with someone who still has time at this amazing institution so that their experience can be even better!  
Best Memory about being a First Year Student/Something I Struggled With: I was sitting in a circle in the Danieley Center parking lot the first Friday after school started. It was late, but my friends and I just sat singing, eating Cookout, and looking at the stars. That was the moment I knew I bELONged: 
Inspirational Quote: "I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do."- Edward Everett Hale

 


Alex Bohannon 

Year at Elon: Sophomore 
Major:  Philosohy and Political Science
Hometown: Winston-Salem, NC
Other Involvement on Campus: Sophomore Class President, Tour Guide, and Resident Assistant
Why I Became a Mentor: I wanted to serve as a positive influence and role model for first year students. 
Best Memory about being a First Year Student/Something I Struggled With: As a first year student it took me a while to acclimate to the college life because I had difficulty managing my time. But, over time through trial and error I was able to grasp so very vital time management skills. 
Inspirational Quote:  "Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant"- Robert Louis Stevenson.

 


Alexandra Obradovich

Year at Elon: Senior
Major:  Marketing
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Other Involvement on Campus: President of the Club Lacrosse Team, Isabella Cannon Leadership Program, Pi Sigma Epsilon Professional Marketing Fraternity, Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity 
 Why I Became a Mentor: I became a mentor because I came to Elon knowing no one and I wish I would’ve had access to an upperclassman who could have helped show me the ropes.  
Best Memory about being a First Year Student/Something I Struggled With: Playing club lacrosse and meeting new people. 
Inspirational Quote: “Not all those who wander are lost” - J.R.R. Tolkien

 

 

 


Alisha Carter

Year at Elon: Junior
Majors: Stategic Communications
Minor: Sociology
Hometown: Charlotte, N.C.
Other involvement on campus:Affinity, Gospel Choir, Admissions Diversity Ambassador
Why I became a mentor: I really enjoyed my time being involved with SMART these past few years and wanted to continue to be involved with the program. I want to be able to meet and develop friendships with first year students and offer them any help they may need. I want to see these first year students become successful and see them fully enjoy Elon and all that it has to offer.
 My best memory about being a first year student/something I struggled withMy best memory was being able to meet so many people and becoming involved on campus. Something I struggled with was being home sick. It was hard transitioning because I was so used to seeing my family everyday. I also struggled with my organization skills and time management.
Inspirational quote: “You are the designer of your destiny; you are the author of your story.” - Lisa Nichols
 

Antonio Austin

Year: Senior
Major: Human Services
Hometown: Pittsboro, NC
Other Involvement on Campus: Black Cultural Society, Gospel Choir, Resident Assistant in The Oaks, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Student Program Assistant for the Office of Greek Life
Why I became a mentor: I wanted to be able to help students through their freshman year, and give back to the Elon community.
MY best memory about being a first year student: Meeting people! There were so many new students and we were all very eager to network and make friends with one another.
Inspirational Quote:
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." -Dr. Maya Angelou


Arnetia Fogg

Year at Elon: Senior
Major: Political Science
Hometown: Largo, Maryland
Other involvement on campus: Model United Nations, North Carolina Student Legislature & Executive Board Black Cultural Society
Why I became a mentor: I struggled at Elon for my first couple of years and I would love to help incoming students better adapt to the College environment.
My best memory about being a first year student/something I struggled with: My best memory my first year was having the leisure of my SMART mentor complete my schedule for me.
Inspirational quote: Never be ashamed of where you came from and the struggles you had because history always impacts the future.

 


Brian Delgado

Year at Elon: Junior 
Major: Psychology
Minor: Neuroscience
Hometown: Burlington, N.C.
Other involvement on campus: Latino Student Organization (succeeding secretary), Elon African Society,Theta Psi Alpha (secretary), Watson/Odyssey Scholar.
Why I became a mentor: "I wanted to give back and inspire first year students that college can be an educational experience as well as a rewarding experience. As a returning mentor I wanted to use my skills and experience that I learned as a mentee to ensure that my first year students would be well rounded scholars, make connections, take advantage of the opportunities college gives you and make college the most memorable four years of their lives. They are the future generation leaders, why not have someone who can guide them to achieve their goals and dreams and pass that knowledge to the next generation."
My best memory about being a first year student/something I struggled with: "Being able interact and develop long lasting relationships with individuals from my scholarship and from my learning community."
Inspirational quote: “"Don't let people tell you what you can or can't do, only you place those limits. Anything is possible with hard work and never giving up"

 

 


Christina Gregory

Year at Elon: Sophomore
Major: Accounting 
Hometown: Richmond, VA
Why I Became a Mentor: I would love the chance to employ my expericences as a freshman at Elon and guide them through the overwhelming experience of freshman year.
Inspirational Quote: "If your're  a strong female you don't need permission"- Lady GaGa

 

 

 


Christine Dierk

Year at Elon: Senior
Major:  Computer Science and Mathmatics
Hometown: Raleigh, NC
Other Involvement on Campus: Service Vice President of Alpha Phi Omega, service fraternity. Honors Fellow. Participant in Alternative breaks.
Why I Became a Mentor: I had a great time as an Orientation Leader in 2011; however, the experience only lasted a couple of weeks. I became a SMART mentor so that I could have another great experience and cultivate relationships that would last longer. Also, I love Elon and meeting new people!
Best Memory about being a First Year Student/Something I Struggled With: My favorite thing about being a first year student was how many opportunities there were to meet new people. Living on campus and having a meal plan, there were other first years everywhere I went and everyone else was just as eager to make friends. Something I struggled with my first year was getting along with my roommate. We had different ideas about virtually everything and as a non-confrontational person, I had to learn to voice my opinions.
Inspirational Quote: "Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future." --Oscar Wilde


Courtney Harris

Year at Elon: Junior 
Major: Psychology and Dance Science 
Hometown: Washington, DC
Other Involvement on Campus: Elon Volunteers Alternative Break Coordinator (ATL)
Why I Became a Mentor: To help incoming freshman become acclimated to their new environment and to make their first year a little less stressful.
Best Memory about being a First Year Student/Something I Struggled With: My best memory about being a first year students was meeting new people. I enjoy learning about people with different cultures.
Inspirational Quote: "He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life." Muhammad Ali

 


Danni Simmons

Year at Elon: Senior
Major: Psychology
Minor: Poltical Science
Hometown: Dayton, O.H.
Other involvement on campus: Black Cultural Society, Black History Month Committee, SPC for the SMART, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority,Inc, Safe Rides Captain
Why I became a mentor: "I became a mentor because I really wanted to help guide first year students. I know it is difficult transitioning into college, I had a hard time and if it wasn't for my S.M.A.R.T Mentor or the people in my group I don't know would have done."
My best memory about being a first year student/something I struggled with: "I think my best memories would be spending time with my S.M.A.R.T group, we were all close and always together. I was nervous about college life and I struggled to get a grasp on things."
Inspirational quote: 'Storms make oaks take deeper roots' -- George Herbert
 
 
 
 
 

Dionne Buck

Year at Elon: Sophomore
Major: Broadcast Journalism
Hometown: Bowie, MD 
Why I Became a Mentor: I became a mentor because I would like to aid incoming students in making their first year at Elon fun, successful, and memorable.
Best Memory about being a First Year Student/Something I Struggled With: My most memorable experience was the creation of beautiful friendships that will last a lifetime.
Inspirational Quote: "Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible'"

 

 


Evan Candler

Year at Elon: Sophomore 
Major: Marketing  
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
Other Involvement on Campus: Greek Life, Elonthon, Laughelongs, Intramural Soccer, Hillel Center  
Why I Became a Mentor: I became a mentor because I desire to help students of different ethnic/racial backgrounds effectively transition, academically and socially, into student-life at Elon.
Best Memory about being a First Year Student/Something I Struggled With: My favorite part of my first year at Elon was forming incredible relationships with my friends and my professors.
Inspirational Quote: "...because the ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do." -Steve Jobs

 

 


Hampton Smith 

Year at Elon:  
Major: Religious Studies & Psychology 
Hometown: Chapel Hill, NC
Other Involvement on Campus: President of the Student Atheist and Non Religious at Elon (SANE) & Cohost of The Mad Fat Fluid Hour radio show 
Why I Became a Mentor: I became a mentor to grow as a person and to help others do the same 
Best Memory about being a First Year Student/Something I Struggled With: The thing I struggled with as a freshman and continue to struggle with is who I am and who I want to be, more specifically what side of myself do I want to represent to Elon and what to do with the other sides of myself 
Inspirational Quote: "I don't respect money, I respect real" -Gucci Mane 

 


Immanuel Bryant 

Year at Elon: Senior
Major: English: Professional Writing & Rhetoric
Hometown: Goldsboro, NC
Other Involvement on Campus: Better Together, Library Intern, SPC-AEP
Why I Became a Mentor: We come to Elon because we're smart we seek knowledge, right?  Well a wise mentor once told me that knowledge is power only when its shared. For smart people people learn from their own experiences while wise people learn from the experience of other's. I became a mentor to both learn and share knowledge with other people.
Best Memory about being a First Year Student/Something I Struggled With: As a  first year student I struggled with not using a calendar and scheduling my time effectively. Yet my best memories from that year have came from the things I didn't plan to go to…like the library.
Inspirational Quote: "Esse quam vederi. To be is better than to seem." -NC state Motto

 


Jackson Edwards

Year at Elon: Sophomore
Major: French 
Hometown: Raleigh, NC
Other Involvement on Campus: French House (La Maison Française) President, La Casa Italiana, Phoenix Pals
Why I Became a Mentor: I didn't have a mentor last year, and I remember it being difficult for me to adjust to college.  That is one of the reasons why I became a mentor, so others wouldn't have to go through that.  I also love helping others, so that's a real bonus.  If I wasn't into languages, I probably would want to go into counseling.
Best Memory about being a First Year Student/Something I Struggled With: My best memory was the night my friends and I had a movie night after we got back from spring break.  We went into a McEwen classroom downstairs and watched Disney movies on the projector.  It was pretty epic. Something I struggled with was that I did not have a mentor when I first got to Elon, so it was a little bit of a struggle getting adjusted
Inspirational Quote: With a friend, any day is an adventure. Any song becomes a symphony." - Pooh

 


Jasmine Bryant

Year at Elon: Junior 
Major: Psychology 
Hometown: Washington, DC
Other Involvement on Campus: Phoenix Pals and SHARE
Why I Became a Mentor: I became a mentor because the SMART program is what made me stay at Elon during my freshman year and it had a positive impact in my life. I would love to give a first year student the same opportunity that I was given and to help him or her have a fantastic transition into college.
Best Memory about being a First Year Student/Something I Struggled With: My best memory was meeting people from various backgrounds and with several different beliefs.  The transition academically and socially into college was the biggest struggle during my first year. 
Inspirational Quote: "Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great"- Orison Swett Marden 

 


Jiavonna Medlock

Year at Elon: Sophomore
Major:  Psychology
Hometown: Concord, North Carolina
Other Involvement on Campus: RA and Safe Rides Captain
Why I Became a Mentor: Coming into Elon, I didn’t know what to expect, I was aware of the lack of diversity, but I didn’t realize how hard it would be integrating myself into Elon and making friends. My own mentor has helped me through personal issues, helped me work through school, been a friend to me when I didn’t have any, and become a better all-around student, and I’m sure that I would transferred if it wasn’t for her. I want to give another student that same experience and hopefully it can keep passing down.
Best Memory about being a First Year Student/Something I Struggled With: I definitely struggled with choosing professors and classes to take. Although my advisor did try to help me through the process, there was a lot that I had learned on my own for my own career path.
Inspirational Quote: Words may create rare images within their narrow bound, ‘twas speechless childhood gave me these as music may in sound” –Walter de la Mare


Jordynn McKnight

Year at Elon: Junior
Major: Strategic Communication & Sports and Event Management  
Hometown: Manassas, VA
Other Involvement on Campus: Student Union Board, Live Oaks Communications, Residence Life, University Tour Guide, Club Volleyball
Why I Became a Mentor: I love meeting new people and guiding others to take advantage of the opportunities I didn’t or couldn’t. I have always been the
Best Memory about being a First Year Student/Something I Struggled With: My best memory of my first year at Elon is just living in Old Staley in general. The freshmen in the building were all a tight knit group that worked out together, ate together, hung out between classes, and went out together and we’re all still close today
Inspirational Quote:  This too shall pass;  Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else.


Kai Chung

Year at Elon: Sophomore
Major: Biology
Hometown: Las Vegas, NV
Other Involvement on Campus: Biology Club, Elon Volunteers
Why I Became a Mentor: I became a mentor because I wanted to help new students find their place on campus.
Best Memory about being a First Year Student/Something I Struggled With: My best memory about being a first year student was late night runs to Acorn for cookies. My greatest struggle as a first year student was learning how to be a grown-up and make decisions for myself.
Inspirational Quote: It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something. -Franklin D. Roosevelt


Kris Jiles 

Year at Elon: Junior 
Major: Political Science 
Hometown: Riverdale, MD
Other Involvement on Campus: Isabella Cannon Leadership Fellow, Multicultural Ambassador
Why I Became a Mentor: To help first year students of diverse backgrounds matriculate through their first year at college. In order to inspire and motivate my mentees like my mentor inspired me. 
Best Memory about being a First Year Student/Something I Struggled With: Time management was my biggest first year issue.
Inspirational Quote:  In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure. -Bill Cosby 


Linh Tonnu

Year at Elon: Junior
Major Public Health & Psychology
Hometown: Mooresville, N.C.
Other involvement on campus: SMART Mentoring, Elon Commitment Scholar, Alpha Chi Omega, Junior Panhellenic for AXO, Health & Wellness Learning Community, Watson/Odyssey Scholar
Why I became a mentor: My mentor ended up being the JAM and inspired me to help others just as she has helped me.
My best memory about being a first year student/something I struggled with: "My best memory about being a first year students is all the organizations provided at Elon. They helped me be more involved with the community as well as meeting more friends. Something I struggled as a first year was balancing my social life with academics as well."
Inspirational quote: Your talent is God's gift to you, what you do with it is your gift back to Him

 

 

 


Lauren Wilkins

Year at Elon: Senior 
Major: Exercise & Sport Science
Hometown: Newark, N.J.
Other involvement on campus: Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Student Actitivites, National Panhallenic Council
Why I became a mentor: "The SMART program was extremely helpful to me during my first year at Elon, so I figured why not give back to incoming first years! I was able to gain important academic and social skills along with the ability to increase my networking skills!"
My best memory about being a first year student/something I struggled with: "I struggled with becoming a part of the Elon community and sometimes found it intimidating, but by being in SMART and being able to cultivate relationships with peers and upperclassmen such as my mentor, I found my place in the Elon bubble."
Inspirational quote: "My mission in life is not merely ro survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style."- Maya Angelou


Martin Ahrin 

Year at Elon: Junior
Major: Psychology 
Hometown: Charlotte, NC 
Why I Became a Mentor: I became a mentor so I can help others adjust to a new environment.
Best Memory about being a First Year Student/Something I Struggled With: I struggled with  waking up early in the morning for classes.
Inspirational Quote: Hold fast to dreams for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly. - Langston Hughes

 

 


Toyya Jenkins

Year at Elon: Sophomore
Major: Psychology and Human Services 
Hometown: Durham, NC
Other Involvement on Campus: Gospel Choir
Why I Became a Mentor: I want to help someone get acclimated to campus in a way that I wasn't able to
Best Memory about being a First Year Student/Something I Struggled With: my first college party and making friends first semester
Inspirational Quote: Let no one give you your identity.  

 

 


Xani Saganis

Year at Elon: Junior
Major: Psychology 
Hometown: New Kensingtin, PA
Other Involvement on Campus: student employee at Belk library, Intramural sports, resident association for Station at Mill Point, Theta Psi Alpha,
Why I Became a Mentor: I think it's really important for the Elon community to welcome freshman and make their transition as smooth as possible. And I wish I had a mentor my freshman year if college.
Best Memory about being a First Year Student/Something I Struggled With: My best memory is the friends i made on my hall. And I struggled big time with a long distance relationship.
Inspirational Quote: "There are only three things in life that we know to be true: God, human folly, and laughter. Since the first two are beyond our comprehension, we must do what we can with the third." 

 

 

 

 

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