Taylor Garner ’20 and Catherine Stallsmith ’22 awarded Payne Graduate Fellowship
Taylor Garner ’20 and Catherine Stallsmith ’22 were among 30 national recipients of The USAID Donald M. Payne International Development Graduate Fellowship and are the first Elon students awarded the prestigious fellowship. The fellowship attracts outstanding individuals in the Foreign Service of the U.S. Agency for International Development. Garner earned an international and global studies degree at Elon and is the UN-Habitat Youth 2030 Cities Coordinator for Colombia and Ecuador. Stallsmith earned a degree in political science and is the Civics Partnership Coordinator at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
Elisson Adrien ’17
A biology major, Elisson Adrien ’17 earned his medical degree at Quisqueya University in Port-au-Prince. Growing up in Haiti, Adrien knew he wanted to become a doctor to help his neighbors. At Elon, he conducted research into medicinal uses of Haitian plants through the Center for Research on Global Engagement and interned at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, Maryland, among other experiences.
Sarah Austin ’22
Sarah Austin, ’22, an Honors Fellow and Lumen Scholar who graduated with a statistics degree, and Assistant Professor of Statistics Mark Weaver co-authored “Association between Fire-Related Particulate Matter Exposure and Childhood Asthma in Peru: A Burden of Disease Assessment,” published in The North Carolina Journal of Mathematics and Statistics. They applied a novel epidemiological approach to explore the association between particulate matter from increased fires in the Peruvian Amazon and incidence of asthma among children in the region. Austin is an Assistant Vice President of Data Science at Fifth Third Bank.
Mark Berlin ’13
Pursuing a Doctorate in Political Science at George Washington University, Mark Berlin ’13 researches communication among terrorist and militant groups by interpreting Arabic messages and media to better understand why individuals and groups pledge allegiance or affiliate with violent extremists. At Elon, Berlin was a political science major and a standout soccer player. He earned Master’s degrees in Arab Studies and in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies from Georgetown University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Alumna Amanda Bingaman ’20 and Professor Cindy Fair, professor of Public Health Studies and Human Service Studies and Watts/Thompson Professor, along with international collaborators published the first-known study exploring how parents help their internationally adopted child living with HIV prepare for and manage stigma in Social Science Medicine-Qualitative Research in Health. The article was based on part of Bingaman’s Lumen Prize and Honors Fellow research. Co-authors included Fair, Alison Hamilton of UCLA, Dr. Rosemary Olivero of Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, and Claudia Crowell of Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich in Germany. Bingaman is a research analyst at RTI International and graduated with a degree in public health studies.
Danielle Cooke ’16
Danielle “Dani” Cooke ’16, a graduate of Elon’s dual-degree engineering program, is a clinical applications specialist in neurosurgery for Insightec. She trains neurosurgeons on how to use technology to perform noninvasive brain surgery using the company’s Exablate Neuro system to treat patients suffering from tremors due to conditions like Parkinson’s disease.
Erin Eady ’20
In 2022, Erin Eady ’20 was hired as the Charlotte Symphony’s orchestra personnel manager, responsible for ensuring that each performance has a full slate of musicians in the ensemble. Eady was an arts administration and music performance double major and earned her Master of Music in clarinet performance from Shenandoah University.
LaToya Faustin ’04
LaToya Faustin ’04, a graduate of Elon’s business communications and Spanish programs, is the executive director of She Built This City. The Charlotte-based nonprofit builds pathways to lucrative careers in skilled trades for youth, women and marginalized communities.
Ciara Graves ’20
A marketing manager for Thrive Music in Los Angeles, Ciara Graves ’20 became one of the few Elon University alumni to earn a gold record for her work on the popular ACRAZE song “Do It To It.” Graves, a music production and recording arts alumna, drove the track to trending status on TikTok, which led to millions of TikTok users creating dance videos to the song.
Kathleen Hupfeld ’16
Kathleen Hupfeld ’16 is a neuroscientist and postdoctoral fellow at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She was named to Forbes’ 30 Under the 30 for Science for her work using MRI scanners to measure brain chemicals as an alternative to intensive brain biopsies. At Elon, she was an exercise science major, Honors Fellow and Lumen Scholar.
Darris Means ’05
Darris Means ’05 is an associate professor and Dean’s Faculty Scholar in Equity, Justice and Rural Education at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Education, as well as 2021-22 Richard P. Nathan Policy Fellow for the Rockefeller Institute of Government. At Elon, he double majored in sociology and political science. He returned to serve on the founding staff for the Elon Academy for seven years.
Arianne Payne ’20
Arianne Payne ’20 is completing a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at George Mason University and is working as a graphic designer for the corporate branding company SimplyBe. She expects to graduate from the program in 2024 with a focus on poetry. At Elon, she double majored in English and communication design, received the Lumen Prize and the Black Alumni Scholarship.
Nicole Plante ’21
Alumna Nicole Plante ’21 completed a Master’s in Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University and was admitted to Yale Law School to pursue a career in immigration law. Plante was an Elon College Fellow, Lumen Scholar, and majored in international and global studies and studied Arabic in the Department of World Languages and Cultures.
Bernard Reinckens ’16
Bernard Reinckens ’16 is an electrical engineer with Liquid Robotics, a subsidiary of Boeing. He is part of a team developing defense technology to gather data from remote oceanic environments. A graduate of Elon’s dual-degree engineering program, he completed undergraduate studies at Washington University in St. Louis and earned his Master of Science in Electrical Engineering at Villanova University.
Alyssa Romano ’16
Alyssa Romano ’16, a biochemistry major and German studies minor, earned her medical degree from the University of Tübingen.
Eliza Spear ’22
Eliza Spear ’22 released her debut album, “Right Now, It’s Like This,” which she wrote over several years and recorded with classmates in Elon’s Music Production and Recording Arts Program.
Vaughn Vreeland ’15
Vaughn Vreeland ’15 is the supervising producer for New York Times Cooking, overseeing its recipe and entertainment videos, is featured often on “Good Morning America” and was named to the 2023 Forbes 30 Under 30 list for media. At Elon, Vreeland double majored in French and media arts and entertainment.