Meet the 2026 Communications Fellows
The School of Communications welcomes its 2026 class of Communications Fellows. Fellows wrote their own mini biographies, which you can read below.
Adam Alkins grew up in Huntersville, North Carolina, just north of Charlotte. He graduated from Lake Norman Charter High School, where he was a member of the National Honor Society, the National English Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta. Additionally, Adam made varsity swim team all four years and served as team captain his senior year. Adam picked up video production and filmmaking as a hobby early in high school, and he created and collaborated on various content that stoked a passion for his future career. Along with being creative, Adam enjoys playing basketball, swimming, volunteering in his community and spending time with friends. He looks forward to pursuing his Cinema and Television Arts major at Elon and is excited to be a part of the Communications Fellows program.
Christian Atwater was raised in Greensboro, North Carolina, and attended Lucy C. Ragsdale High School. She graduated magna cum laude and was a member of the school’s National Honor Society. Christian was a well-rounded, balanced student, who was involved in multiple clubs, such as Student Government and Service Learning, and the school choir. She dedicated her time to basketball and made the varsity team all four years of high school, being selected for multiple all-conference awards and serving as team captain in her final season. She has always been interested in the plethora of sports enjoyed around the world and became more interested in an athletics career thanks to her high school’s sports-related courses. Christian intends to major in Sport Management, but she is also open to discovering and pursuing other areas of communications. She is excited to develop a deeper understanding and passion for communications through the Fellows program over the next four years.
Sasha Barnett is from Westport, Connecticut, where she graduated from Staples High School as a member of The National Honor Society and held leadership positions in many extracurricular activities. She is passionate about her high school involvement and was the co-president of Reshaping Reality, a club designed to support students struggling with body image and mental health. She was also the student class representative on the school’s Social Climate Committee, the secretary of the anti-bullying elementary school program Kool to Be Kind, and the senior manager of fundraising/outreach and dance captain in her high school’s nationally recognized theater group, Staples Players. As a Communications Fellow, she hopes to deepen her understanding of mental health awareness across digital platforms. Not only is she thrilled to be a part of the Elon community, but she is beyond grateful and honored to be a Communications Fellow. She cannot wait to meet the rest of her cohort and grow alongside them for the next four years.
Madeline Bauman graduated from The Barstow School in Kansas City, Missouri. Throughout her four years, she became president of the Student Council, homecoming queen, an AP Scholar with Distinction, a member of both the National Honor Society and the Spanish Honor Society, and a two-year captain of the varsity girls’ soccer team. Additionally, she was a recipient of the Wellesley College Book Award, KMBC Scholar-Athlete Award, the Ada Braun Scholarship Plaque, the Susan McClellan English Award and the Katherine Hall Stapleton Headmaster’s Award, while also being nominated for all-district, all-conference and all-region soccer teams. She fell in love with writing and communications through her student-run news station, BTVN, where she served as an executive producer during her junior and senior years. Outside of school, Madeline frequently volunteered for Heartland Therapeutic Riding, which offers adaptive horseback riding lessons and therapies to children with disabilities. Madeline looks forward to studying the relationship between strategic communications and politics as a double major at Elon, and she’s thrilled to explore all the opportunities available through the School of Communications and the Fellows program.
Evelyn (Evie) Benson grew up in Fork Union, Virginia, where she graduated with honors from Fluvanna County High School. Evie served on her school’s journalism/yearbook team as social media manager and yearbook editor. Her interest in communications began to grow as her time on the journalism team continued, designing social media content, while creating and supervising the yearbook. Evie was also a sideline and competition cheerleader throughout high school and was named team captain her first year and selected for the All-Academic Athletic Team. Evie also won a state title in forensics in her first year and graduated as a member of the national Beta Club. Evelyn enjoyed giving back to her community as a board member and social media manager for the school’s Interact Club, a community service organization. She helped create, lead, plan, advertise and raise awareness of local service projects. Always excited for an adventure, Evie looks forward to studying abroad during her time at Elon. She is excited to study Strategic Communications and learn as much as she can as a Communications Fellows.
Aidan Blake, from Norton, Massachusetts, graduated from Norton High School as a member of the National Honor Society, the National English Honor Society and the National History Honor Society. During his time at Norton, he played three years for the varsity golf team and was part of his school’s chapter of DECA, where he qualified for states and went to the international competition in 2022, competing in the Automotive Marketing Category. Aidan developed a love for mountain biking, action sports and motorsports. As his passion for mountain biking grew, he began racing as part of the Eastern States Cup Enduro race series, where he placed top-15 in the competitive U15 category and top-20 in the U20 category. When not racing all over the Northeast, Aidan worked as a mechanic and service adviser, while running social media for Trek Bikes of Lakeville. He also developed a sponsorship program for his New England High School Cycling Association team, where he interfaced with bike brands all over the world. Through these events, activities and education, Aidan has developed a strong passion for marketing and public relations. Aidan plans to study abroad, and he hopes to work for Live Oak, as he pursues his dream job working in the F1 motorsports industry. He is excited to be part of the Communications Fellows program and plans to major in Strategic Communication with a minor in Sport Management at Elon.
Anna Brett Blinston grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, where she graduated from James L. Mann Academy with honors. There, she was a well-rounded student who served as vice president of the National Honor Society and participated and held leadership roles in multiple organizations, such as Young Life, Beta Club, Church Council and FCA. Anna Brett also played school soccer and tennis and ran cross-country, earning both a South Carolina 5A state championship and a 5A state runner-up title in soccer. She is looking forward to studying abroad, an interest that stemmed from her travels around the United States as a plyer on her competitive club soccer teams. In her sophomore and junior years, she took statistics and creative writing classes, and she developed a love for analytics and communications. As such, she intends to major in Media Analytics. Community Service has also been important to Anna Brett, whether it be through her school or church. She hopes to continue to be a positive influence on her community once she gets to Elon. Anna Brett is thrilled to be a Communications Fellow and is looking forward to studying Media Analytics.
Owen Crider was born in Burlington, North Carolina, and grew up in Columbia, Maryland, where he went to Atholton High School. He participated in Atholton’s Technical Theatre program and video production course. He worked as a lighting designer and engineer for school theatre productions. He also worked as a sound designer and enjoys music composition. He will be continuing film production and technical theatre at Elon. Owen looks forward to being part of the Communication Fellows Program.
Sylvie Cullen was raised in Cary, North Carolina, and attended Cary High School, where she graduated summa cum laude as an AP Scholar with Distinction. She was also a member of Cary High’s National Honor Society chapter and spent three years on the varsity girls’ soccer team, becoming a captain her senior year. Sylvie became interested in film, broadcasting and the arts early on. In elementary school, she became an anchor for her school’s news network, and throughout her childhood she could often be found with either a video camera or a paintbrush in hand. While her love for media and the arts did show itself in the classes she took throughout high school, much of her experience in design and communications stems from outside school. By her sophomore year, she was known to her church as the “designated video maker” and from then on was roped into creating slideshows and videos for every event. It was there that she also delivered various sermons and reflections to the congregation, helping her to realize how much she enjoys public speaking. Sylvie is honored to be a Communications Fellow, and she plans to major in Communication Design and continue doing what she loves most: creating.
Lucy Day is from Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, where she attended Sacred Heart Academy. At SHA, she was the Student Council social media coordinator and a marketing intern to help run the school’s social media accounts. With a strong passion for social media marketing, she completed an independent study in which she was able to work alongside her school’s social media coordinator to create content. She helped create fun and lively posts and brought her classmates together by helping in running school-wide events. She was also a member of the National Honor Society and participated in many clubs and sports, including field hockey and track and field. Lucy will be studying Strategic Communications, with a strong love for PR, social media marketing, and meeting new people! Lucy cannot wait to attend Elon in the fall and take on all that it has to offer.
Julien Dupas grew up in Smyrna, Georgia, a city 15 minutes north of Atlanta. He graduated from Campbell High School, where he was the director and assistant editor for his news program. His passion for cinema started as a kid when his dad showed him a countless number of movies. During his time in high school, he also created highlights and interviews for the sports teams. Later, he and his twin brother created two spec advertisements that were both recognized by major water companies, Lemon Perfect and La Croix. He has always enjoyed learning about his passions and cannot wait to start his academic career at Elon. As a Communications Fellow, he is looking forward to learning more about the industry and meeting new people with similar interests.
Liam Dupas is from Smyrna, Georgia, which is located just outside Atlanta. He graduated from Campbell High School and was enrolled in many AP and honors courses. He challenged himself inside and outside the classroom, joining Campbell’s film class, in which he would make sports edits for the school news, direct the news, and manage camera operators, switchers and talent. In his junior year, he found his passion for film, which sparked an interest that he became obsessed with. Whether it was analyzing films, studying lighting schematics from films or shooting spec product commercials, Liam’s passion for film covers the entire spectrum from pre- to post-production. Outside of film, Liam enjoys playing soccer and ping pong and doing calisthenics. Liam is eager to expand his knowledge of film as a Cinema & Television Arts major and hopes he acquire the skills to enter the industry with full confidence. Liam is eager to be a part of the Communication Fellows program at Elon.
Harrison Haber is from Denver, Colorado. He graduated from George Washington High School, where he received his International Baccalaureate diploma. Throughout his high school tenure, Harrison participated in service/research projects and volunteered at his local church’s women’s homeless initiative during his freshman and sophomore years. From a young age, Harrison was always interested in the idea of writing and journalism, and he cultivated a strong passion for sports after moving to Colorado from Florida in the fourth grade. Ever since then, he took up playing baseball and was a strong leader on his high school varsity baseball team the four years he was there. Harrison hopes to continue to pursue sports on the field with the club baseball team and into his career as a Sport Management major. He is excited and intrigued by the many parts and fields of being a Communications Fellow and is looking forward to building new opportunities and creating new ideas in the program.
Halli Harwood is from Baltimore, where she graduated from Eastern Technical High School in the top 5% of her class. Halli was a dedicated member of multiple honor societies, drama club and the Peabody Children’s Chorus. As president of her school’s chapter of the Science National Honor Society, Halli founded The Pen Pal Program, an initiative dedicated to assisting with the adjustment from virtual school to in-person education and promoting an interest in STEM with students at a local elementary school. Halli found her passion for journalism through a middle school communications magnet program and continued that journey in high school working on MavTV Morning Announcements and interning at her former middle school in a mass communications classroom. In the summer of 2021, Halli attended the Washington Journalism and Media Conference, where she further solidified her desire to study journalism in college and had the opportunity to return as a WJMC intern for the summer of 2022. Halli is excited to attend Elon as a Communications Fellow and to study journalism with other passionate students.
Henry Heimlich hails from Cincinnati. While in high school, Henry was greatly involved in his school’s theater program, working as an actor, crew member, set builder, light and sound board technician, camera operator, video director, assistant director, and director. Additionally, he has been training in mixed martial arts for more than 10 years, performing stand-up comedy for five years, and caring for an adorable dog named “Forrest” for almost two years, whom he will miss very much. Henry is coming to Elon University with intentions of learning filmmaking, screenwriting and business in the hopes of one day working in the film industry. Henry is excited to be here.
Carlos Levy was born in Mexico City and moved to Miami at 11, where he has since grown up. He has a passion for sports, specifically soccer, which he will be playing as a member of the Elon men’s soccer team. He graduated from NSU University School, where he was a well-rounded student athlete. He was a member of the National Honor Society, vice president of his school’s Cadena Leadership club and captain of the varsity soccer team. Most recently, Carlos spent a year abroad in Valencia, Spain, where he competed in soccer against the highest level for his age group and worked with sports agency Mesas Sport. With Mesas Sport, Carlos gained insight into the sport management industry, specifically through the agents’ and players’ points of view and has since held an interest in expanding his knowledge and experience in the field of communications through the Communications Fellows program and his new step into Elon.
Lauryn Maddox (information not provided)
Jenna Mangan grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, where she graduated from Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School. Throughout her time in high school, Jenna involved herself varsity basketball, podcast club, the yearbook and National Honor Society. Jenna was also the editor-in-chief of The Mercy Magnet, where she was responsible for editing, designing and publishing monthly issues of the school newspaper. On top of extracurriculars, Jenna has also held two internships in sport management and multimedia production. Her favorite class in high school was Digital Media and Design, which sparked her interest in graphic design and content creation. Through the classes she has taken and extracurriculars she has participated in, Jenna has discovered her passion for communications and media design. Although she has not decided which area of communications she will study, she is eager to learn and explore everything that the School of Communications has to offer and is excited to be part of the Fellows program.
Amanda McGee grew up in Sutton, Massachusetts, graduating from Sutton High School with honors in 2022. Amanda was always a visually inclined person, and she expressed that passion primarily through art, fashion and, eventually, social media, when she took a job at a local bridal shop to do social media advertising. This opportunity especially fostered her passion for creativity, photography, visual media and the fashion industry. As an incoming Communication Design major, Amanda hopes to continue to pursue her creative desires and further explore her talents and interests in the field of communications within the Communications Fellows program. In addition, leadership has always been an important component of Amanda’s life, as she was a long-standing member of her high school’s Student Council, Social Justice Club, Humanities Collaborative and National Honor Society. Amanda eagerly vows to continue to be a leader and a creator throughout her college career.
Paige Millard was born in Thousand Oaks, California, and raised in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, where she graduated with honors from Pope John Paul II High School. There, she was a member of numerous clubs and the National Honor Society. Throughout all four years of high school, she progressed through studio art classes and worked with other students to create and organize the Art Club, helping cultivate her passion for leadership and design. She also worked as an editor for her school newspaper, Lo Splendore, and developed an appreciation for written media. Outside school, Paige was the captain of her club volleyball team for three years. She enjoys exploring new artistic media and loves to bake. Spending vacations in several countries is what brought about Paige’s passion for travel, and she looks forward to participating in multiple study abroad programs during her time at Elon University. Paige is proud and excited to spend the next four years as a Communications Fellow.
Morgan Minoff grew up in Norwalk, Connecticut, where she graduated from Norwalk High School. During her four years at Norwalk High, she was involved with the Digital Media and Communications Academy, which provided her with multiple opportunities and helped expand her horizons within the world of communications. Morgan was selected to work with her school district’s administration to lead a team to design a box truck. She was then chosen to work with the state inter-district athletic commissioner to edit multiple films for the Will to Live Foundation. Outside the communication world, she took part in the Norwalk-McMahon varsity swim and dive team. As restrictions of the pandemic ended and her school district canceled junior prom, Morgan used her leadership skills to organize a prom for her classmates. In Morgan’s free time, she enjoys watching the sunset, traveling and partaking in fun adventures. She is excited to study strategic communications and be a Communications Fellows.
Zeke Petrou was born in Atlanta, where they lived for eight years before moving to Durham, North Carolina, and eventually graduating from Carolina Friends School. They played goalie in soccer all four years of high school and were one of the captains during their senior year. They also were the manager and assistant goalie coach for the high school girls’ soccer team for two years. In addition, as a senior, they assistant coached the middle school boys’ basketball team. Coaching and teaching are two of their favorite things, and they aspire to continue both at a higher level after college. When not reading about, watching or playing sports, they love to listen to music, read poetry and hang out with friends. Zeke is excited to join the Sport Management department, and they are grateful to be a member of the Communications Fellows program.
Carson Pron is from West Chester, Pennsylvania, where he graduated from B. Reed Henderson High School. While at Henderson, he participated in athletics year-round, as both a track athlete and a football player, having grown up playing sports from a young age. Outside of school, he captained his travel soccer team and attended and worked for eight summers at Camp Weequahic, where he learned the importance of tradition and leadership. During his sophomore year of high school, Carson decided to take a photography class, and it turned into one of his favorite hobbies that he hopes to continue in college. Carson is looking forward to attending Elon and is honored to be a Communications Fellow and study sport management.
Allison Rikard is a graduate of Unionville High School in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. Previously, she grew up in the Lake Norman area of North Carolina, where she attended SouthLake Christian Academy. Allison’s passion for media and communications emerged as a pandemic hobby that led her to be appointed the media manager for the UHS athletics department. During her junior and senior years, she revamped and professionalized the school’s athletics Instagram account, the primary portal for sharing the amazing stories of athletes with the school and broader community. Allison’s love for sports media stems from her years as a competitive gymnast and participant in other sports, like soccer, cheerleading and lacrosse. Allison also served as a Young Life student leader, a committee leader of UTHON, a club that worked to raise money for pediatric cancer research, and a member of the Principal’s Advisory Council. Allison was also a key member of a broad-based initiative to evaluate the history and context of the school’s mascot, the “Indian.” Based on student, faculty, alumni and community feedback, the mascot was changed to the “Longhorn” in January 2021. As she returns to her Carolina roots, Allison looks forward to pursuing strategic communications and sharing her love for sports media with the Elon community.
Devon Rocke grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs, graduating from Conestoga High School as an Honors Scholar. During her time at Conestoga, Devon was part of National Honor Society, received First Honors all four years, earned a Certificate of Merit from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and was greatly involved in her school’s newspaper, The Spoke. In her sophomore year, Devon became a staff reporter for The Spoke and was soon promoted to op/ed editor her junior year and managing editor her senior year. She has won several awards, including Journalism Education Association National Student Media Contests Superior in Editorial Writing, State Journalism Winner 2021 for Editorial Writing, State Journalism Winner 2022 for Editorial Writing, and First Place – Editorial 2022 from the Pennsylvania Press Club National Federation of Press Women. She has also written an editorial on the Electoral College that was featured in the Yale Daily News. Devon was involved in Conestoga varsity cheerleading all four years and served as a counselor for her church’s vacation Bible school. She has an affinity for linguistics and plans on minoring in Spanish and studying abroad. Devon is honored to be a Communications Fellow and looks forward to what her next four years hold.
Hudson Sabiston was born in Atlanta and grew up in Melbourne, Florida. He graduated with honors from Viera High School, where he was the vice president of the Academy of Communication Art & Design, and a member of National Honor Society, the Beta Club and Digital Photography Club. As a four-year member of ACAD, Hudson became certified in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premier Pro and After Effects. In his junior year, he completed a graphic design internship with Arnott Inc., and designed logos for a good friend’s business startup. While in school, Hudson was a varsity athlete, who helped take his high school soccer team to the Florida State Championship. In his free time, he loves traveling, playing both soccer and golf, watching and attending sporting events, and hanging out with friends. Hudson is honored to be a Communications Fellow and looks forward to continuing his education at Elon University.
Ben Solis is from Charlotte, North Carolina, where he graduated from Myers Park High School. A former member of Acting Out Charlotte Improv, Ben was an honors AP student and member of the school’s speech and debate team. In his senior year, Ben’s literature and film project, titled “Gregorio,” took home the Best Director, Best Actor and Best Film awards at the Myers Park Film Festival. As a Communications Fellow, Ben will be studying strategic communications and business. He intends to couple that with his passion for film and media and enter the field of corporate communications. He is excited to be part of Elon and the tremendous opportunities that lie ahead.
Bernardo Vargas, originally from Mexico City, grew up in Austin, Texas, where he graduated from Lake Travis High School. During his high school career, Bernardo was part of the men’s soccer varsity team. For two of the four years he played, he served as the team captain. He led his team to the a state championship title his senior year, making history as the first team in the Austin area to raise the champions trophy. Bernardo made academic state his senior year and academic all-district all four years. His passion for writing came when he started reading fantasy novels. From interviewing important sports personalities, such as ESPN’s David Lloyd, to posting sports articles, Bernardo has shown an incredible passion for sports. He hopes to continue his passion for writing and sports at Elon University.
Drew Young grew up in Bethesda, Maryland, where he graduated from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School. Throughout his high school career, Drew was an engaged and multifaceted member of his school community, constantly pushing himself to try new things. He was a part of the crew team, Black Student Union and the yearbook. He has studied French for 13 years, starting with a French immersion elementary school, and that experience helped him understand and appreciate the importance and power of communication. His proficiency in a second language earned him special recognition in his senior year with the Achievement Award in French. Drew is intrigued by video formats of communication, specifically the expressions and imagery that can be conveyed through editing. He spent much of his free time in high school editing footage of groups of friends performing impromptu skits or helping with school projects. Drew is excited to join the Elon community and hopes his experiences as a Communications Fellow helps him learn more about the field.