From mentee to mentor: Elon Hillel welcomes Amy Wolf '17 as engagement associate
The recent graduate stays at Elon to engage Jewish students and develop programming for Hillel.
When she was a senior at Elon University, Amy Wolf ’17 imagined her first job would be in a nonprofit organization, ideally Make a Wish or Teen Cancer America, both groups that empower young people with cancer.
But as she approached her graduation date, Wolf began to think about staying at Elon University where she knew the lay of the land and could more effectively empower students to engage in meaningful programs and conversations outside the classroom.
When Wolf was offered the chance to interview for the role of Elon Hillel’s engagement associate with University Chaplain Jan Fuller, she was thrilled.
“I worked for the Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life as a student office assistant, and I learned so much from such amazing professional mentors,” Wolf shared. “I was flattered and impressed that I was chosen for the job at Hillel. Jan’s confidence in my skills makes me excited to create stronger Jewish programming for our students.”
Wolf, a native of Durham, N.C., transferred to Elon University in the fall of 2014 and immediately felt at home on the University’s beautiful campus where the focus is on relationship building, engaged learning and strong community.
“I am close with students of all ages, from freshman to seniors. While I was a student, I also had the opportunity to build strong relationships with faculty members and senior members of the administration,” Wolf explained. “Elon emphasizes mentorship-based learning, and I am in a unique position to mentor students now, while still learning from senior staff.”
Wolf knows the lay of the land, she knows how the university works for students, and she brings that rich insider knowledge to her new role. As a student she was active in Hillel, Greek life and Elonthon (a 24-hour dance marathon to support Duke Children's Hospital), so she will be able to support and empower Jewish students to develop and take ownership of Jewish Life programs.
Hillel International emphasizes that Jewish professional staff should meet students where they are, and Wolf plans to do just that — emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
“If students want to meet in the library to talk, I’ll be there,” Wolf said. “If students want company at a university event, I will be by their side. It is my job to provide engaged conversation outside the classroom that can help students succeed at school, outside of school, and after school. That is what Elon is all about, supporting student education and experiences!”
Wolf, a human service studies major who minored in psychology, wants to create a space where students can openly express themselves. She believes that her education prepared her well for this, as it taught her to be open and approachable to people of vastly different cultural backgrounds, a skill she honed during study abroad in Antigua, Guatemala, where she worked in a school for disabled children.
She is also looking forward to having the opportunity to learn more herself.
“In this role, I can also further my Jewish education. Elon and Hillel both encourage and facilitate lifelong learning, and I feel very lucky,” Wolf explained. “This is one wonderful thing about Judaism, we celebrate our heritage and our culture in so many different ways, and Hillel is a pluralistic community where we share our own traditions, we learn from each other in open dialogue, and we all bring something different to the table to share and learn.”
As the Hillel engagement associate, Wolf will support the student intern program and student board, and help develop engaging programming for Elon University’s Jewish community.
“This role will provide a good foundation for everything else I choose to do in my life, whether it is graduate school or another job. I am so excited to help our students succeed!”