Bringing Students into Faculty Research Spaces

Understanding the value of mentoring in learning, Elon’s Student Engaged Learning Scholars program provides first-year students with the opportunity to collaborate in research with Elon University faculty and staff who work with the university’s Center for Engaged Learning. The students work for three consecutive years on CEL’s international, multi-institutional research, studying specific engaged learning topics. In fall 2022, the first cohort of scholars presented at the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. Their presentation focused on their partnership with one of the center’s research seminars and shared strategies for prioritizing student perspectives in the scholarship of teaching and learning.  

Nimble Programs for a Changing World

Elon continues building on its top national ranking for excellence in undergraduate teaching by launching new academic programs. For students who want to create sustainable solutions to the world’s problems, there is a new concentration in environmental engineering. A new minor in engineering design allows students from across the university to learn engineering design principles that can be applied to their chosen disciplines. Other new majors include data analytics and fintech, in which students use finance theory and apply it through emerging technologies. Other new minors include museum studies and public history, Islamic studies, sustainable enterprises and food studies.

Learning and Thriving Together

Deepening its commitment to provide meaningful learning communities for students, Elon launched several cohort programs that ensure classroom discussions continue well after class ends. Among the new programs are the Innovation Scholars for students interested in finding their creative or entrepreneurial passions, Elon Vocal Scholars for musically talented students dedicated to service through singing, and Data Analytics Scholars for students in any major interested in studying data analytics. These new cohorts join the Nursing Fellows, for students devoted to exploring the many opportunities within the field of nursing and identifying ways to impact health disparities in local and global communities, and Engineering Fellows, who are challenged to design, prototype and test potential solutions to the complex problems facing our world today.

Stimulating a Culture of Curiosity

To cultivate a culture of curiosity and creativity, the Elon Innovation Council offers annual grants to empower students, faculty and staff to discover, develop and deploy groundbreaking and mission-aligned projects that create value for the community. Recent projects include the 2022 Elon Education Conference, which focused on inclusive technology tools and partnerships with multilingual students, families and communities, and Elon Drone Day 2022, which attracted nearly 140 attendees interested in the technological and professional potential of the expanding drone industry. 

A Global Business Perspective

Every year, Business Fellows engage in a study abroad experience that allows them to sharpen their intercultural competence skills. In 2022, 26 sophomores deepened their knowledge of international business while also gaining a better cultural understanding of the United Arab Emirates during an immersive course abroad. The highlight of the experience was attending expo 2020 Dubai, which showcased examples of collaboration, innovation and cooperation from around the world. The group learned about the global issues of sustainability, mobility and opportunity and how these areas interrelate; various countries’ initiatives to address these issues; and the need for countries to work together to make a difference.

Practical Engineering Solutions

As part of their Senior Engineering Design Capstone project, a team of students is designing a weir — a low-lying structure that increases surface water area — to slow runoff and help recharge the aquifer that supports agriculture in the 3.3-million-acre Mississippi Delta region. Members of the team spent a week in December surveying in the Beaver Dam Bayou and presenting a project update to the Yazoo Mississippi Delta Joint Water Management District Board of Commissioners. Key upcoming deliverables include a design package ready for professional engineering review and a construction quote-ready bill of materials.

Opening Doors for Black Males in Medicine

It’s estimated that only 515 Black Americans are on a path to becoming a doctor, with the number expected to continue to decline. In an effort to change this downward trend, Elon’s School of Health Sciences launched the Start Early in Medicine initiative, which exposes middle and high school students to potential careers in the health care industry early in their lives. The initiative serves as the health science learning component of Alamance Community College’s Medical Bridge: Minority Males in Medicine program, which aims to get more minority youths on track to medical careers as dentists, doctors or other health professionals.

Advancing Effective Teaching and Engaged Learning

Elon’s Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning serves as a catalyst for effective teaching and engaged learning, offering a variety of resources and opportunities for faculty to deepen and enhance their teaching practice. CATL faculty promote intentional, evidence-based, and inclusive teaching and learning practices, contribute to university-wide initiatives related to teaching and learning, and foster the scholarship of teaching and learning at Elon.

Centering Race at the Heart of Health Inequities

Public health experts recognize that racism is at the heart of many health disparities in the United States. The mission of the Health Equity and Racism (H.E.R.) Lab at Elon is to address local health disparities while examining health care systems and outcomes in marginalized communities. It also aims to utilize an anti-racist approach to research and science as an organizing tool to advocate and act for a more equitable society. Much of the lab’s research concerns maternal and women’s health among marginalized populations. Other aspects of minority health and inequity — including issues of environmental justice — are potential areas for future exploration.