Meet the 2017 Communications Fellows

The School of Communications welcomes its 2017 class of Communications Fellows. Fellows wrote their own mini biographies, which you can read below.

Caroline Fernandez photoCaroline Fernandez is a graduate of Bishop Moore Catholic High School in Orlando, Fla., and is excited to start this new chapter of her life with Elon and the School of Communications. During high school, Caroline was involved with and held leadership positions in multiple organizations, including the Homecoming Committee, Ecology Club, Student Government, and Leadership and Peer Ministry Teams. Caroline was also on the varsity golf team for all four years and served as captain senior year. Caroline’s interest in writing and journalism grew junior year when she joined the yearbook staff. As a staff member, she served as the index editor junior year and editor-in-chief senior year, increasing her love for the different aspects of journalism. Outside of communications, Caroline enjoys walleye fishing with friends and family in Canada, golfing, cooking and online shopping. Caroline is eager to immerse herself in Elon life, as well as study abroad and participate in internships during the next four years.

Tom Hamzik photoTom Hamzik hails from just outside of Cleveland and is a graduate of Padua Franciscan High School. He took an active interest in journalism, primarily sports, late during his sophomore year. Tom took on the role of his school’s sole sports reporter, a position he created himself, during his junior year. He attended nearly 300 varsity athletic contests for his school during his last two years, writing nearly 400 articles that were posted professionally on He also built his Twitter account into a source of all athletic news regarding his high school and was recognized for it, along with his writing, across the Cleveland area. In addition to his extensive sports reporting background, Tom was also involved in Symphonic Band, Orchestra, Stage Band, Peer Ministry and Spanish Club. He is also a Eucharistic Minister. He is extremely excited to be living the maroon life at Elon this upcoming fall and plans to write and cover sports for The Pendulum.

Marcela Hawkins photoMarcela Hawkins was born and raised in northern Virginia, recently graduating as an Honors Graduate from Oakton High School. After taking Journalism her freshman year, Marcela knew she had found a passion for Communications. She spent the next three years as an active member of the award winning yearbook staff and became an editor-in-chief her senior year. She found the yearbook to be a perfect balance of several media that interested her, including photography, design and writing. Marcela was also heavily involved in athletics during her high school career, playing volleyball, tennis and lacrosse. She was a captain of the volleyball team her freshman year and the lacrosse team her sophomore year. Marcela was a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, Octagon Club and the SGA’s Executive Counsel. Outside of school, she volunteered for a child’s fitness and wellness program, FUN & SNAP, through the local hospital. Marcela is undecided in which aspect of Communications she will major in, but plans to minor in Spanish and study abroad. Marcela is honored and grateful to be a part of the Communication Fellows Class of 2017 and looks forward to all the opportunities the program has to offer.

Anna Hinchman photoAnna Hinchman graduated with honors from the Country Day School of the Sacred Heart in Bryn Mawr, Pa. A black belt in Tae Kwon Do and captain of an indoor soccer team and track team, Anna has always enjoyed the challenge of athletics. She has shared her joy for sports by coaching local youth soccer and karate. A dual citizen of the United States and Norway, Anna has spent considerable time living and traveling throughout Europe. The importance of her multi-cultural background became apparent during her participation in Model United Nations. Anna has written for Chez Nous, her school’s magazine, and her photography has been displayed at the Moore College of Art. She hopes to use what she has learned with people of diverse cultures in her intended major of Strategic Communications. Anna is eager to attend Elon this fall and take part in all Elon has to offer.

Taylor Hoerr photoTaylor Hoerr graduated from Dunlap High School in Peoria, Ill., and is thrilled to be joining this year’s class of communications fellows. During high school, she was heavily involved in the music program, heading up production teams and taking on leadership roles in madrigals and show choir, as well as being the dance captain of the musicals all four years. Taylor was co-captain of her tennis team, and she loves volunteering with children and serving throughout her community. Her passion for traveling and photographing the world gave her an interest in studying abroad and thinking of the world from a global standpoint. Communications first peaked Taylor’s interest after she attended the National Youth Leadership conference and started editing her school’s yearbook. Taylor is honored to be starting her next chapter as a Strategic Communications major in Elon’s Communications Fellows program.

Jane Humphrey photoJane Humphrey is from Massachusetts, where she has developed her leadership skills largely in the theatre, working as a stage manager, camp counselor, actress and camera operator. In her junior year, Jane became producer and editor of “Scituate News Broadcast,” running 16 episodes on the local channel for about eight months. Always busy with something, Jane is someone her friends depend on to organize the crew. Her employment at the Comcast TV studio brought on the ambition to make an impact on the world through international programming for kids. In her spare time, Jane can be found singing her heart out to musical numbers.

Cole Hyman photoCole Hyman was born and raised in Glen Allen, Va. Growing up in a home with two loving parents, two sisters and one brother, Cole has always valued family as one of the most important components of his life. He attended John Randolph Tucker High School as a freshman, where he ran cross country and played baseball. After Glen Allen High School was completed in 2010, Cole moved there and helped establish traditions, school identity and unity. While attending Glen Allen, Cole started at quarterback on the football team for three years and started in center field on the baseball team. He developed an interest in writing and speaking during his junior year, while taking a creative writing class. From there, he went on to help construct the first-ever school newspaper, where he worked as the head sports writer. As an Elon Communications Fellow, Cole aspires to take advantage of every opportunity to develop and perfect his craft and eventually work for a sports network or professional team. He sets his goals high and works tenaciously to make those goals a reality. Cole is also planning to walk on to the Elon baseball team.

Courtney Ittner photoCourtney Ittner is from St. Louis and graduated from Mary Institute and Saint Louis Country Day school. She plans on majoring in Media Arts & Entertainment with a concentration in Cinema. Courtney’s interest in film stemmed from a variety of experiences in narrative writing, acting and creating personal interest films. Courtney further grew her skills during her senior year Global Action Project class, which combined documentary filmmaking, global issues and social entrepreneurship. In the class, she made several types of films and developed a social entrepreneurship concept that received high acclaim and local interest. Her perfectionist tendencies and high-quality results, while enjoying every editing minute, convinced her she was headed into the right field. Courtney worked the other side of the camera, where she had lead roles in her school musicals and dramatic productions throughout high school. Additionally, she participated on the varsity lacrosse team, attending state as a finalist her junior year and winning the state title her senior year. Courtney also enjoyed working on “Ram Report,” where she reported on student life. This versatility is also present today, for she plans on pursuing interests in multiple aspects of film and television production. With her Communications Fellows opportunities at Elon, she is excited to work, grow to new heights and participate in activities such as Fresh TV, internships abroad and Elon in Los Angeles. She is thrilled to be a part of Elon’s fantastic program with other dynamic individuals.

Graceanne Killoran photoGraceanne Killoran grew up in West Chester, Pa., a suburb 45 minutes outside of Philadelphia. Graceanne graduated from Bayard Rustin High School with honors and was involved in various clubs and activities throughout her career as a student. During high school, Graceanne served as a member of the National Honor Society, the Latin and French National Honor Societies, manager to both the boys’ varsity soccer team and baseball team, and the captain of the varsity cheerleading team. She was also involved in the Good Friends club, choir, Support our Troops and lacrosse. Graceanne also had the opportunity to develop the DuPont Kids Club, in which members volunteered to spend time with sick children at DuPont Children’s Hospital. Outside of school, Graceanne was an All-Star Cheerleader for more than 10 years, as well as a coach for Stetson Middle School’s cheerleading team. She also volunteered at the Chester County Food Bank and the Arc of Chester County. Graceanne’s interest in communications and broadcasting sparked when she was placed as an anchor on her school’s morning news show in middle school. She then continued anchoring in high school, which led her to make the decision to study Broadcast Journalism at Elon. Graceanne is beyond thrilled to have been chosen as one of Elon’s Communications Fellows and can’t wait to start the next chapter of her life as a Phoenix.

Tim Kitslaar photoTim Kitslaar is a graduate of Glenbard West High School in Glen Ellyn, Ill. Tim has been heavily involved in theatre, being cast in multiple Glenbard West productions such as  “Our Town,” “West Side Story” and “Antigone,” as well as directing the winter comedy “Moon Over Buffalo.” He also held multiple positions in the business and technical aspects of the theatre program, as well. In addition to theatre, he was involved in choir, Eco Club, Political Science Club, French Club, Key Club and his school’s newspaper. Outside of school, his biggest passions are traveling, sailing, hiking, SCUBA diving, reading, photography and filmmaking. Tim has spent some of his summers traveling. He’s studied marine biology throughout the Caribbean and done service work in the Fiji Islands. Tim cultivated an interest in communications and journalism from a long-time interest in current events and news, in addition to following the political and social situations of people from countries around the world to right here in the United States. He plans on double majoring in journalism and anthropology. He is extremely excited for all the opportunities he will be afforded as a Communications Fellow and cannot wait to arrive at Elon in the fall.

Kathryn Klochany photoKatie Klochany, born in Tallahassee, Fla., and raised in Charlotte, N.C., graduated from Charlotte Catholic High School as the editor of the school yearbook. Her position allowed her to combine her love for creative writing and photography with her passion for graphic design. Throughout high school, she played tennis, worked part time at a music store and served her community through more than 500 hours of volunteer work. Katie also loves to travel and has attended leadership programs in Chicago and South Carolina. In her spare time, she enjoys playing acoustic guitar and piano, and she also shows her personality through her original songs. Although she adores the Queen City, Katie first discovered her love for communications in Nashville, Tenn., at the Country Music Association music festival. Katie’s passion for music, combined with her yearbook experience, ignited in her an interest in strategic communications and broadcasting. She hopes that the Elon Communications Fellows program will aid her in obtaining a career in Nashville working with communications in the country music industry. She is ecstatic about attending Elon and cannot wait to take advantage of all the amazing opportunities and adventures that lie ahead.

Kristen Lilley photoKristen Lilley is from Williamsburg, Va., and graduated from Jamestown High School. She spent four years on the varsity tennis team, going on to win the team district, regional and finally the Virginia AA Team State Championship during her senior year. Throughout the years, she discovered a love for photography and design. She served as photo editor of her school yearbook as a junior and editor-in-chief of design as a senior. She was an active Key Club member throughout high school, volunteered with the Heritage Humane Society and spent four summers working with elementary school students in summer school. Kristen enjoys traveling and hopes to take advantage of Elon’s study abroad opportunities. She also plans on getting involved with Live Oak Communications and The Pendulum.

Jordan Lockhart photoJordan Lockhart was raised in Tampa, Fla. She graduated from HB Plant High School, where she was a member of the National Honor Society and served on Senior Committee and Honor Council. She was also a peer leader for freshmen and was a board member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Latin Club. In her free time, Jordan was a cheerleader and volunteered at Teens In Action and the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay. She discovered her passion for writing with the help of a truly inspiring teacher her junior year and began writing for the school magazine. She intends to major in Journalism. Jordan is incredibly honored to have been chosen for the Fellows Program and is excited to attend Elon. Go Phoenix.

Mariam Lopez Rosales photoMariam Lopez graduated from Hugh M. Cummings High School in Burlington, N.C., and is very enthusiastic about becoming a member of the Communications Fellows program at Elon. During high school, she was an active student, running for both the indoor and outdoor track teams, as well as the school’s cross country team. In addition, Mariam has also held various leadership roles in academic clubs and organizations. She was the vice president of National Honor Society and became Cummings High School’s senior class president. Growing up, Mariam loved watching the news with her family. This later led her to develop an interest in broadcasting. She has also had the opportunity to write a book with 13 other students on the inequalities of college access. All these opportunities and efforts have helped create the great interest Mariam now has for Communications. Mariam plans on majoring in broadcast journalism to later become a news anchor on the Spanish television network Univision. She believes that Elon University will give her all the tools necessary to succeed and reach her goals once she graduates.

Matthew Mallian photoMatt Mallian is from Cary, N.C., just outside of Raleigh. He graduated from Athens Drive High School, where he wrote for the Athens Oracle and was a member of the National Honor Society. Matt enjoyed covering sports for the newspaper and served as sports editor for two years. Originally from Bartlett, Ill., a suburb of Chicago, Matt and his family moved to North Carolina in 2007. He remains a huge fan of the Cubs, Bears, Bulls and Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks. At Elon, Matt hopes to write for The Pendulum and cover Phoenix athletics. His dream is to be a beat reporter for a professional sports team, and he knows he will be able to achieve this dream through experience gained as a Communications Fellow at Elon.

John Martin photoJohn Martin has spent his entire life in the Philadelphia suburbs. He attended Conestoga High School in Berwyn, Pa., where he got his first taste of excitement in writing. He had always been a strong writer, but it wasn’t until he took AP Language and Composition in his junior year that he considered a career in writing. Since the inception of this idea, his drive to become a better writer, storyteller and persuader has only grown. His interests in high school were also diverse, as he was the president of Conestoga’s Musician’s Guild and the Philosophy club. And although he was too late to contribute to his school paper, the Spoke, he’s ready and willing to give The Pendulum his full effort this coming year. John plans on studying Print/Online Journalism, with a possible dual minor in International Studies and Political Science.

Ryan Meizinger photoRyan Meizinger comes to Elon University after graduating from South Brunswick High School in South Brunswick, N.J. At South Brunswick, Ryan participated in communications-oriented classes from freshman year. As high school progressed, Ryan was able to study broadcast journalism and television more rigorously through his workload. He became heavily involved in directing the morning announcements show junior year, which translated to a similar role in a news package oriented show his senior year. Ryan is also an avid sports fan who also hopes to learn more about the production of sports television. Most exciting to Ryan is the opportunities that await him at Elon in the fall of 2013, specifically within the Media Arts & Entertainment focus.

Atoria Mills photoAtoria Mills is a graduate of the Atlanta Girls’ School and is absolutely thrilled to begin her Elon journey as a Communications Fellow. Atoria knew from the time she was 7 years old that she wanted to be on television thanks to her love of speaking and her inherent need to socialize. Throughout high school, she worked diligently to obtain numerous internships and shadow at local news stations, at CNN, and at other news organizations. Atoria is the founder of her school’s first news program, titled “Hurricane News,” which she produced, wrote, edited and starred in each month at her all-school assembly. When she was not working toward her communications aspirations, Atoria spent a majority of her time as a competitive swimmer, and she currently holds one-fourth of the GISA state record for the 200-meter freestyle relay. Atoria looks forward to quickly becoming an active member of ESTV, “Elon Tonight” and FreshTV. She hopes to make a splash her freshman year at Elon University.

Taylor Mitchell photoTaylor Mitchell was born and raised in Santa Barbara, Calif., where she graduated with honors from Santa Barbara High School. During her time at Santa Barbara High School, she was an active member of the Junior Statesmen of America Foundation and also participated in a variety of campus clubs. Taylor was also accepted to the Multimedia Arts and Design Academy, an educational community within Santa Barbara High School. At MAD Academy, she learned the basics of graphic design, web design, photography, and video editing and production. She used all of those skills during her internships with John Conroy Photography, McCafferty and Co. Productions, and Emily Rosendahl Leather Goods, where she interned as a digital media consultant. All of these experiences have prepared and excited her for her career in communications, and she looks forward to expanding her knowledge as an Elon Communications Fellow.

Joshua O'Neil photoJoshua O’Neil spends most of his idle time thinking of new and creative methods of storytelling. When he isn’t spending hours scribbling story notes onto paper, he is searching for other ways to spend his time, usually through community service or other outlets that fit his interests. From a young age he has always been interested in politics and world events, and during this past election he volunteered and became a Fellow for President Barack Obama’s campaign office in Joshua’s current city of Rocky Mount, N.C. He balanced this with his school work and his role as president of his high school’s writing club, often encouraging his fellow students to join writing contests to test their skills. Joshua himself entered a poetry contest for the American Library of Poetry and will have one of his poems published in a book of collected student poetry. Most of his passion revolves around traveling and giving aid to others, which is why he became so interested in becoming a Communications Fellow at Elon. From here, he will begin forging a path to find himself and his purpose in life.

Emanuel Obi photoEmanuel Ifeanyichukwu “Ifeanyi” Obi was born in Chapel Hill, N.C., then raised in Mebane, N.C. Ifeanyi graduated from Cedar Ridge High School in Hillsborough, N.C., where he was vice president of the National Achievers Society and participated in sports as a three-season athlete. Ifeanyi’s passion for journalism was sparked in his Virtual Enterprise class, where he served as chief marketing and sales officer. As the CMSO, Ifeanyi wrote successful news articles and developed slogans to attract business. Ifeanyi plans on taking his marketing skills to the next level as an Elon Communications Fellow by building alliances and relationships, networking, and actively participating in skill-building activities.

Caroline Patterson photoCaroline Patterson was born in Atlanta to a speech therapist and the production manager of a local TV station. Even though she grew up around television and movies, her love for media wasn’t recognized until her freshman year of high school during a broadcasting class. Unfortunately, that class stopped being offered at her school, but she continued to foster an interest in directing. She spent a lot of her time watching various movies (good and bad), as well as receiving lessons in culture from her family, which included trips to museums, symphonies, plays and abroad to Germany, Italy and London. During her junior year of high school, she got the chance to direct the school musical. Not having any experience, she dove in headfirst and discovered that she had found her passion. She plans to study Media Arts & Entertainment and can’t wait to meet everybody in the fellows program. (Her parents have already invited everyone over for dinner during the Fellows media experience trip to Atlanta.)

Sophie Pearson photoSophie Pearson comes to Elon University from Westborough, Mass., a suburb just 30 minutes west of Boston. During high school, Sophie experimented with what she studied and began endeavors like joining the team at the town’s television station—Westborough TV. There, she discovered all that goes into the creation of entertainment and media (i.e., designing, editing, scripting and more). In school, Sophie took up new classes such as journalism, marketing and public speaking, which she enjoyed. As for activities and athletics, Sophie participated in field hockey and lacrosse, and she was heavily invested in the music program, where she played the oboe in the school’s symphonic band and earned membership in the Music Honor Society. Sophie also began singing leads in jazz bands and auditioned in rounds of “The X Factor,” a singing talent show with celebrities Simon Cowell and Demi Lovato as prominent judges. Outside of school, Sophie has paid many visits to and has interned in the PR department of EMC, a high-tech Fortune 500 company. It was this experience that inspired her to become a Strategic Communications major at Elon. Sophie hopes she can continue to be a part of something great and lead a successful career.

Kathryn Pownall photoKatie Pownall graduated with honors from Loudoun Valley High School in Purcellville, Va., where she has lived most of her life. During her years at Valley, Katie pursued her interests in photojournalism and graphic design by joining the yearbook staff, becoming the editor-in-chief of the award-winning publication her senior year. She was also a member of Loudoun Valley’s chapter of the National Honor Society, as well as Mu Alpha Theta Mathematical Honor Society and the Société Honoraire de Français. Outside of school, she participated in several volunteer projects, including community work with her Girl Scout troop and assistant coaching her younger brother’s youth soccer team. Katie hopes to expand her abilities and knowledge of communications by studying Strategic Communications at Elon. She cannot wait to begin her first year as a member of the 2013 Communications Fellows class, and is excited to delve into all the opportunities the university has to offer.

Rebekah Richin photoRebekah Richin is a graduate of Manheim Township High School in Lancaster, Pa. She plans to be a Strategic Communications major and hopes also to pursue an interest in film production at Elon University. Rebekah cultivated an interest in public relations when she served as the public relations officer on her high school Student Council. Rebekah also served as the vice president of her Student Council during her senior year and was the overall chairperson of her high school’s Mini-THON, raising more than $50,000 to help fight pediatric cancer. She is excited to serve on ElonTHON, as well as pursue her interests through organizations such as Cinelon and FreshTV. She is very excited to spend her next four years at Elon University and be a part of the Communications Fellows program.

John Roddey photoJohn William Roddey was born in Cincinnati but has since lived in Houston, Toronto and Atlanta. He moved to Houston when he was 2 years old, then moved to Toronto at the age of 10. He began his high school career in Canada and moved during his sophomore year to Atlanta, where he attended Riverwood High School. Throughout his high school career, John was an avid sports participant and fan. He lettered in baseball twice and was named the captain of the basketball team during his time in Canada. He also enjoyed playing soccer, tennis and ultimate frisbee outside of school. John was an IB Diploma Candidate at Riverwood and a sports editor for the yearbook during his senior year. As well as his involvement with sports, John is interested in learning about foreign languages. He was a member of the French Honor Society for two years and plans to begin learning German at Elon, as well as maintain his fluency in French. John is excited to be majoring in either Broadcast Journalism or Media Arts & Entertainment and plans to study abroad during his time at Elon.

Jenna Rohde photoJenna Rohde is honored to attend Elon University as a Communications Fellow. Jenna graduated from Franklin High School in Reisterstown, Md., where she first discovered an interest in broadcast media and film. At Franklin, Jenna was a member of numerous clubs, serving as the president of her class, the secretary of both the National Honor Society and the Math Honor Society, and a member of the Radio and Television news crew. Jenna was also the captain of the indoor and outdoor track and field teams and played soccer. Jenna feels that the television studio truly is her second home. Whether she is working behind the scenes to produce promotional videos or anchoring live news, sports or weather broadcasts, she finds joy in this creative field and is eager to learn more. Jenna hopes to study abroad and cannot wait to travel with the other Communications Fellows. She hopes to get involved in Elon’s numerous clubs, especially “Elon Tonight.”

Ilana Spiegel photoIlana Spiegel is from Los Angeles. She is a graduate of Agoura High School, where she was a varsity captain of the AHS Dance Team, a Link Crew leader, an English Honors Society member, a Peer Counseling Association president and an Art Club co-founder. Ilana has always had a great passion for art and writing. In an effort to expand her skills, Ilana worked as a media adviser for the non-profit organization Leap For Teens. She designed, distributed and produced digital media to help LFT educate and aid teens who struggle with a variety of issues, including depression, substance abuse and social isolation. Her interest in advertising and media was sparked during her internship as a creative assistant at the advertising agency Casanova Pendrill. During her internship, Ilana had the opportunity to work on campaigns with well-known corporations, such as Nestle, Nature Valley and the California Lottery. Ilana hopes to pursue a degree in Strategic Communications with a focus in advertising. Ilana is honored to be a Communications Fellow and is very excited to join the Elon, where she hopes to cultivate and expand her many interests.

Iris Sullivan photoIris Sullivan was born and raised in Durham, N.C., and is a recent graduate of City of Medicine Academy, a high school where students dedicate their lives to medicine. After Iris’s second week of attending the school, it occurred to her that becoming a doctor was not her calling. She soon realized that her true passion was storytelling, and so now she plans to major in Media Arts & Entertainment at Elon University. Since her junior year of high school, she has written close to 150 scripts, made a 30-minute documentary about her senior year of high school, was the cinematographer/editor/director of her school’s first lip dub, interned with the Durham Bulls (where she participates in the live broadcasts of the minor league baseball games) and completed various informational videos her high school. Iris feels extremely blessed to be part of Elon’s Communications Fellows program and is excited to participate in the many clubs and organizations Elon has to offer, such as Cinelon, FreshTV and “Elon Tonight.” Iris lives her life by the three I’s—inspire, influence and impact—and she knows that Elon will guide her to greatness.

Kailey Tracy photoKailey Tracy found her passion for communications and journalistic writing during her three years on The John Carroll School newspaper, The Patriot, in Bel Air, Md. She began as a copy editor and worked her way up to copy chief her senior year. Kailey was fortunate enough to interview a local sports broadcaster her senior year, furthering her enthusiasm for the field of journalism. She also was a member of the varsity volleyball team and president of a service outreach club. Kailey hopes to incorporate service into her life at Elon and looks forward to studying abroad. Majoring in Broadcast and New Media, she hopes to minor in Sport & Event Management and work on The Pendulum staff. Kailey is excited to take advantage of all that the Communications Fellows program and Elon have to offer.

Emma Warman photoEmma Warman could not be more excited to begin her career at Elon as a Communications Fellow. Born and raised in Ellicott City, Md., Emma exhibited an early passion for writing, performing and expressing her thoughts through theater and visual art. In high school, she ran track and cross country as a four-season captain, participated actively in the National Art Honor Society and pursued a dedication to the Special Education program, where she served as a peer tutor to fellow students. As her church’s Youth Elder representative, Emma founded a mission project called Backpack Buddies, which fed local low-income preschool students. When Emma discovered that Communications tied together nearly all her interests, she knew right away that being in the Communications Fellows program was a more-than-fantastic opportunity. Her travels to Europe and mission work in Guatemala, as well as her youngest sister’s adoption from Ethiopia, inspire Emma’s interest in nonprofit organizations on a global scale. She hopes to work in the field of public relations for a not-for-profit and is looking forward immensely to the opportunities the Fellows program will open in her pursuit of this passion.

Alexis Williams photoAlexis Williams is from Charlotte, N.C., where she attended Charlotte Christian High School. There, she delved into every aspect of media available, including acting, producing and directing videos for Knights Knews (the school’s weekly video magazine), the yearbook editorial staff and various theatrical productions, where she worked both on and offstage. After training with Wilhelmina Evolution and the University of North Carolina School of Arts, she joined her school’s competitive drama team that won the North Carolina Theatre Conference State Championship for its production of “Into the Woods,” as well as Best Musical from the South Eastern Theatre Conference. Alexis then studied film at the New York Film Academy at Harvard University and started her own video production company. Alexis’s video work has been featured on a national platform, including the Huffington Post and Throughout her junior and senior years of high school, Alexis served as a theatre critic for The Charlotte Observer and was nominated for a 2013 Blumey Award for Best Student Critic. Alexis is currently an onscreen personality and correspondent for the Broadway news site Stage Door Dish, which is based in New York City. Alexis graduated from Charlotte Christian with a Fine Arts Conservatory Distinction. She hopes to be a producer for both theatre and television and is thrilled to dive into the opportunities the Communications Fellows program has to offer.

Aleksandra Zayac photoAleksandra Zayac was born in Poland and raised in Atlanta, where she graduated from high school with honors. While at school, Aleksandra was a part of her school’s newspaper, The Pantera, working as the opinion editor her senior year and helping create an online paper to cover more current stories. For three years, Aleksandra was also on the editorial board of Pause, her school’s literary magazine, for which she helped evaluate the selected pieces and teach the incoming students the InDesign program. In addition to her journalism involvement, Aleksandra was co-founder and vice president of her school’s chapter of Invisible Children, a national organization dedicated to protecting children in Central Africa from rebel armies. In her community, Aleksandra worked with refugee children, helping them with math, English and science during the school year, and expanding their knowledge through fun activities during the Summer Spectacular camp. Aleksandra loves books, with Agatha Christie’s mysteries being her favorites. She likes to write poetry and short stories. She also loves traveling anywhere and everywhere. As a Phoenix, Aleksandra hopes to be heavily involved in WSOE, to study abroad and to try all of the wonderful opportunities Elon has to offer so that she may one day achieve her dream of working for BBC Radio. She is very proud to be a part of the Elon community.

John Zimmer photoJohn Zimmer grew up in Cary, N.C., and graduated from Cardinal Gibbons High School in Raleigh, N.C. John first became interested in communications while working with the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce, where he helped establish a social media presence for the organization. John then decided to join his high school’s Video Club, which he participated in for all four years and ultimately led his senior year. While heading the Video Club, John directed numerous online broadcasts of his high school’s athletic events and also created three web series for the school website. During his junior year, John interned with the Durham Bulls minor league baseball team as part of the TV crew. This past summer, John interned with Digitalsmiths, working on multiple projects, including selecting content for the website for the 2013 PGA Championship. John plans on majoring in Strategic Communications at Elon and hopes to get involved with one of the numerous Elon television shows.