As part of the Connect theme, we will invest in connections near and far in the decade ahead by:

  • Engaging in lifelong partnerships with our talented alumni
  • Partnering with communities to transform the future
  • Celebrating Phoenix athletics on and off the field

Community Partnerships

Elon College students, faculty and staff routinely connect with the greater Alamance County community through innovative programming and collaborative projects.

Lecturer in Dance Jasmine Powell, positioned second from the right, guides an introduction to capoeira, a Brazilian dance form, for high school students participating in Discover Dance with Elon.

N.C. high school students Discover Dance with Elon

Twenty-five high school students from across North Carolina spent Nov. 12, 2022, with Elon’s Dance Program during the second annual Discover Dance with Elon. The program included lessons from Elon faculty — Associate Professor Renay Aumiller, Lecturer Jasmine Powell and Assistant Professor Keshia Wall — and attendance at the Fall Dance Concert. Students in Elon’s Arts Administration Program assisted in organizing the college-access event.

A high school team jubilantly celebrates their first-prize win on stage in Alumni Gym during N.C. German Day at Elon University.

N.C. German Day comes to Elon

Elon’s German Studies Program hosted N.C. German Day, an annual event for middle and high school students and educators to celebrate their favorite foreign language. More than 250 convened at Elon in March, holding competitions in singing, poetry, skits, art, spelling and verb conjugation bees, trivia and speaking. It was Elon’s second time hosting the event, and the first in-person N.C. German Day since the pandemic.

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During National Biomechanics Day, a high school student jumps to test their airtime, with other students observing the experiment.

Faculty promote STEAM education for National Biomechanics Day

Professor of Exercise Science Joyce Davis and Lecturer in Performing Arts Jasmine Powell joined faculty from the School of Health Sciences to lead workshops at elementary and high schools in Burlington for National Biomechanics Day. In tandem with teachers, they integrated lessons around bodily systems exploring jump assessment data, grip strength and muscle activations, memory motor skills and balance trials, with students at the Career and Technical Education Center also learning about career pathways in biomechanics.

A group of individuals seated at a table engaged in conversation and enjoying lunch together.

Power and Place Collaborative expands community reach

Since beginning in 2018, the Power and Place Collaborative has connected students with the community to record, preserve and present stories about people and places in Alamance County. Faculty leading Honors Fellows, History and Geography, Human Service Studies and English courses represented Elon in the program and grew partnerships to include the African-American Cultural Arts and History Center, the City of Burlington’s Mayco Bigelow Center and the Burlington Masjid. Associate Professor of English Heather Lindenman and Director of Design Thinking and Associate Professor of Human Service Studies Danielle Lake received a $3,500 grant from North Carolina Humanities to expand the project. Events in 2022-23 included the Building Bridges Workshop in November, which featured intergenerational storytelling, and the Dec. 3 screening of “Building Bridges: Belonging in Burlington” compiling oral history digital stories collected in the fall semester.

Seven faculty members from the Department of World Languages and Cultures engage with the local community in the Marvin B. Smith Elementary School gym, with various international flags hanging on the wall in the background.

Faculty engage elementary students’ curiosity about the world

Faculty from the Department of World Languages and Cultures attended Global Week events at Smith Elementary School in Burlington, during which each represented countries and cultures they study and teach about. Among faculty involved were Associate Professor of Spanish Mayte de Lama, Associate Professor of Spanish Federico Pous, Lecturer in Arabic Shereen Elgamal, Assistant Professor of German Kristin Lange, Lecturer in Spanish Ricky Mendoza Castano, Senior Lecturer in Spanish Ketevan Kupatadze and Lecturer in Italian Mena Marino.

An Elon Freedom Scholar stands confidently at a podium, delivering a presentation during the symposium. Three fellow scholars stand beside the podium, with a prominent banner displaying the Freedom Scholars logo in the background.Second cohort of Freedom Scholars enter program

The first cohort of Freedom Scholars, 12 seniors graduating from the Alamance-Burlington School System, were celebrated along with their yearlong service projects at the first Freedom Scholars Symposium in summer 2023. They completed a two-week residential experience at Elon in summer 2022, studying the fundamentals of democracy and civic engagement in the college access and success program. A second cohort of 16 rising seniors entered the program in June. Associate Professor of English Prudence Layne is the program’s director.

Elon students Chloë Williams (left) and Austin Williams (right) alongside ACC faculty member Yholima Vargas Pedroza (center).

Program pairs Elon, Alamance Community College students

Elon students in Associate Professor of English Heather Lindenman’s ENG 1100 course collaborated with students at Alamance Community College to write profiles of each other. The month-long project culminated in the “Everybody Has a Story” event in April, with students sharing their work for one another. Lindenman developed the project in collaboration with ACC faculty and co-taught with ACC instructor Kelly Howes to emphasize the importance of building community and broaden students’ perspectives.

Alumni in Action

Elon College alumni continue to produce amazing work that improves lives, betters the world and inspires joy. Learn more about some of our outstanding graduates and their contributions to the places they live and work.

Collette Dong leads a class in a dance studio.

Colette Dong ’14

Colette Dong ’14 is co-founder of The Ness, a booming global fitness company based in New York City, and has been featured in national outlets including “Today,” “The Drew Barrymore Show,” and the New York Times. Dong visited Elon’s Dance Program in the spring to teach master classes and lead a workshop in professional skills and entrepreneurship, advising students to identify their passion and embody it as their brand.

Dong graduated with degrees in dance performance and choreography and dance science. She was Elon’s first dance science major to present research at the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science and to be awarded a competitive internship at Harkness Center for Dance Injuries at NYU Langone Health.

Professor of Psychology Amy Overman enjoys a meal with three current Elon undergraduates and three alumni around a restaurant table.

Psychology alumni and students gather at neuroscience conference

Three Elon undergraduates traveled with Assistant Provost for Scholarship and Creative Activity and Professor of Psychology Amy Overman to the Psychonomic Society Conference in November where they presented research, networked with professionals and met with alumni. Madison Tarkenton ’23 presented her co-authored neuroscience research with Jordyn Cowan ’21. Overman connected Tarkenton, Lindy Feintouch ’24 and Paige Goldberg ’24 with alumni Ryan Monkman ’22, Pierce Johnson ’22 and Emma Siritzky ’20 for conversations around professional pathways and career preparation.

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Taylor Garner's headshot on the left. Catherine Stallsmith's headshot on the right.

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, wearing a lab coat with a stethoscope around his neck, poses for a photograph.

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.

Headshot of Sarah Austin.

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.

Headshot of Mark Berlin.

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.

Headshot of Amanda Bingaman.

Amanda Bingaman ’20

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 smiles for the camera against the backdrop of a cityscape.

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.

Headshot of Erin Eady.

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.

Headshot of LaToya Faustin.

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.

Elon alumna Ciara Graves '20 holding the gold record she received for her work on marketing the hit 'Do It To It.'

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, donning a lab coat, smiles for the camera while seated in front of computer monitors displaying MRI images.

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.

Headshot of Darris Means.

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, elegantly dressed in her maroon graduation gown, holding her cap, walks away from the camera with a smile, while looking back, on a brick walkway at Elon's campus.

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.

Headshot of Nicole Plante.

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 smiles for the camera, set against a scenic backdrop of green hills and a cloudy sky.

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 smiles for the camera, framed by a backdrop of grassy hills and houses with red roofs.

Alyssa Romano ’16

Alyssa Romano ’16, a biochemistry major and German studies minor, earned her medical degree from the University of Tübingen.

Eliza Spear poses for a photograph against a backdrop of a brick wall.

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.

Headshot of Vaughn Vreeland.

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.