Spotlight on Honors students from 2011-2015

Evan Skloot ’16

Evan SklootEvan currently serves as a Chapter Development Consultant for the International Headquarters of Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity. He travels around from campus to campus working directly with student leaders, campus professionals, and alumni at 21 universities mostly in the Western US, helping members of the local chapter develop as leaders, build relationships, and gain the most out of their college experience. The Honors Program taught him to not tackle each situation the same way, but to identify, articulate, and leverage the differences in ideas, beliefs, and context. This has had a tremendous impact on his work with students and groups, and being able to facilitate cahnge specific to the campus, the culture, and the people he is supporting.

Jill Capotosto ’14

After graduation, Jill moved to Hanoi, Vietnam as a Princeton in Asia fellow to work for TRAFFIC, an international nonprofit that monitors the trafficking and trade of wildlife. As the organization’s communications officer, she wrote and designed publications for national and regional initiatives to reduce demand for rhino horn and other illegally-traded wildlife. At the end of her two-year fellowship, Jill moved back to the US, and she now works for The Institute for Sustainable Communities, an international nonprofit that fosters locally-driven initiatives to establish climate and economic resiliency at the community level. She added, “Every day at work, I draw on lessons I learned from writing my thesis. I’m very grateful to have had that opportunity to explore and solidfiy my career and research interests, and to have been able to work with faculty who were, and continue to be, great mentors.”

Kim Lilienthal ’14

Kim graduated from NC State in May 2016 with an MA in English Rhetoric and Composition, where she did research about wiritng in co-curricular and experiential programs. In June, she began working at Elon in the office of New Student & Transition Programs in an interim position through the end of the fall semester. In August, she and fellow Honors Fellow alum, Stephen Ferguson ’11, became engaged at Elon in front of friends, colleagues, and 140 Orientation Leaders!

Cleo Dan ‘14

Cleo DanImmediately after graduation, Cleo interned in the Capitol for US Senator Warner, providing an eye-opening opportunity to witness how our government truly works (and doesn’t work!). She currently serves as the Director of Strategic Communications and Support for a tech startup in Richmond, VA, called Muster. The software platform allows government relations professionals, trade associations, and advocacy organizations to increase civic engagement rates among their members and influence public policy at a local, state, and/or federal level. So far she and her group have been able to successfully aid organizations influence the Virginia General Assembly through our platform. She added that “Thanks to the Honors Program, I have been able to leverage the value of my liberal arts degree in the technology world. The variety of coursework that I took as an undergraduate truly developed my learning agility, and taught me how to apply my skills in a new industry area. It has been incredible to be a part of an early-stage tech company, and I know that my undergraduate career at Elon gave me the tools to succeed in the “real world”!”

Kyle Whitaker ‘14

Kyle WhitakerKyle currently teaches at SMK Padang Tengku, a public secondary school located in Kuala Lipis, Pahang, as part of his Fulbright ETA grant. He works with over 300 children to build their English language skills through innovative pedagogies. His work allows him to apply his Elon education and Honor research in practical and creative ways. In fact, he recently presented the findings of his Honors Thesis research at the Pekan International Education Conference in Pekan, Malaysia. Kyle writes: “Without the Honors Program I definitely would not have been given this Fulbright, seeing as the application and interview process was nothing compared to the feat that was finishing my thesis. You prepared me so incredibly well, and I’m very thankful.”

Ashley Fowler ‘14

Ashley FowlerAfter graduation, Ashley accepted a position with the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for LGBT individuals. She works with HRC Global, the new international initiative of HRC. Since joining the team a little over six months ago, she has had the opportunity to meet and work with incredible activists from the US, as well as from all around the world. She notes: “This position aligns perfectly with my thesis/Lumen work and has propelled me into the work that I hope to continue to pursue. I’ve never been happier and I can’t imagine a more appropriate start to my career!”

Nathan James ’14

After graduation,Nathan moved to Hoboken, NJ to pursue a career with UPS Capital. At UPS Capital, the financial services arm of UPS, Nathan work as a consultant to help businesses mitigate supply chain risk and improve their cash flow. In the near future he plans on pursuing an MBA and launching an investment real estate operation, while his long-term goal is to expand his skills as an entrepreneur.

Julia Schast ’14

Julia SchastJulia Schast ’14 is a recipient of the 2014 Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship grant for graduate study and is currently pursuing a law degree at the University of Virginia with the ultimate aspiration of practicing criminal law as a State or Federal prosecutor. During her senior year at Elon, Julia presented different sections of her Honors Thesis (on the ratification process of multilateral treaties in the United States) at three professional academic conferences: International Studies Association – South, Georgia Political Science Association, North Carolina Political Science Association. After graduating, Julia successfully published an article on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in Papers and Publications: Interdisciplinary Journal of Undergraduate Research. Her research paper on the Law of the Sea Convention – a condensed version of a case study in her thesis – has been published Questions in Politics, an internet-based archive of peer-reviewed scholarly papers sponsored by the Georgia Political Science Association. In her spare time, Julia serves as a co-founder and Board Member for a non-profit organization based in North Carolina called Model Washington whose mission is to provide college students with an experiential approach to understanding the roles and responsibilities of the United States Federal Government.

Keyona (Osborne) Jones ’12

Keyona (Osborne) Jones ’12 recently accepted a job offer with Mecklenburg County as a Strategic Planning & Evaluation Analyst. Keyona has lived in Charlotte, NC since graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Statistics, concentrating on social sciences. She has continued to build her skills and experience in quantitative and qualitative analysis over the last 4 years, and is finally in a role that more closely aligns with her passion for empowering others, particularly young African American youth. While at elon, Keyona helped rebirth the campus-wide celebration of Black History month. After Keyona graduates with her MBA, which she is studying at Queens University of Charlotte, Keyona plans to continue with that passion by founding a non-profit organization.

Tyler Zoda ’12

Tyler ZodaTyler Zoda ’12 currently works as a Financial Consultant in Wholesale Banking at Wells Fargo in Charlotte, North Carolina. He assists with Wells Fargo’s ongoing Capital & Liquidity work in response to Basel III, as well as helping develop models used to forecast deposit balances and yields in a rising rate environment, and helping with Wells Fargo’s efforts to pass the annual Federal Reserve Stress Test. In August of 2015, Tyler earned the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation and became a member of the CFA Institute. He passed all three examinations on his first attempt. Tyler got married on August 1, 2015 to his college sweetheart, Kelsey Thompson, ’12.

Danie Baquet ’12

Danie Baquet ’12 worked for Americorps and their Maryland Conservation Corps program for almost a year after graduation. He is currently in a Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medical Program at Johns Hopkins University preparing to apply to medical schools over the next year.

Jess McDonald ’12

Jess McDonaldUpon graduating, Jess accepted a position with Campus Pride, a national organization for students and campus groups committed to creating safer, more LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities. Since then, Jess has been invited to Vice President Joe Biden’s house as part of the White House Emerging LGBT Leaders Day, assisted in the co-founding of a LGBTQ community archives project in Charlotte, NC, and co-authored a book chapter titled “Landscaping Classrooms Toward Queer Utopias” with former Elon professor Dr. Kai Rands and Lauren Clapp ’13. Jess was also awarded the 2013 Thomas Barnett “Breaking Down Barriers” scholarship from Elon University for work completed as part of a group project; the scholarship was used to bring queer trans disability activist and author Eli Clare to Elon in January 2015. In May 2015, Jess received an M.Ed. in Social Justice Education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with focuses on intergroup dialogue and serving LGBTQ populations in higher education and student affairs.

Chris Jarrett ’11

Chris Jarrett '11 and his faculty mentor Michael Matthews.Chris Jarrett ’11 received a Fulbright U.S. Student Grant for research in Ecuador. As part of his project, Chris will live and work among the Amazonian Kichwa people of the Napo province, interviewing community elders and documenting cultural narratives (stories, songs, dream interpretations and life lessons) associated with their guayusa tea ritual. These narratives will be written in Kichwa, translated to Spanish and English, and made into two small books with the goal of preserving cultural knowledge associated with the guayusa ritual. You can follow Chris’ progress by visiting his blog.

Kiva Nice-Webb ’11

Kiva Nice-WebbAfter graduation, Kiva accepted two year-long terms in Chicago with the faith-based nonprofit DOOR. DOOR promotes cross-cultural learning through urban immersion experiences while living at the poverty line and serving as a full-time volunteer at a local nonprofit. Her thesis, entitled ‘The Hybrid Saint: Reading Brigit through a Postcolonial Lens,’ explores how different perspectives and notions of authority shape understandings of religious figures and narratives. A religious studies major, Kiva has had the opportunity to present her research at the Southeastern Commission for the Study of Religion conference in 2011 and will also have her research published in the Journal of Theta Alpha Kappa in 2013, both opportunities also resulting in awards for Best Undergraduate Submission.