Meet the Class of 2018 Leadership Fellows

The Center for Leadership is excited to introduce the class of 2018 Leadership Fellows. Below are their personal biographies, their goals and ambitions as Elon students, and their favorite leadership quotes.

Photo of Giles Roll

Giles Roll

Giles Roll is from Bloomington, Illinois and graduated from Normal Community High School. Giles has always been involved in many extracurricular activities within his community. Within Normal Community High School, Giles was the founder and President of Rotary Interact where he and his classmates served others throughout the community. Giles was also the Vice President of his local Future Business Leaders of America Chapter. He was very involved in his school's soccer team until receiving two knee surgeries during his sophomore year of high school. Giles is currently the President of the Freshmen Class of 2018 at Elon University and looks forward to playing a big part in creating positive changes within the school and community here at Elon.

"When you can't make them see the light, make them feel the heat." -Ronald Reagan

Photo of Francesca Filandro

Francesca Filandro

Francesca Filandro, also known as Franki, was raised on Long Island, New York, where she graduated from Long Island Lutheran High School. In high school, Franki was on the varsity lacrosse team and was involved in many clubs. She founded The Sunshine Club, which recognizes student and faculty special occasions, such as birthdays and anniversaries. She was the President of DECA and the Business Club, Secretary and Treasurer for the Spanish Club, and was a Student Government Representative, as well as a member of H.A.R.T. (Helping and Reaching Teens) and National Honor Society. Franki was also a participant in seven other clubs and served as a peer mentor and tutor in her school and community. She participated in many community service trips and events, such as a mission trip to Nicaragua during her junior and senior year. Throughout her high school career, she received the Business Department Award, DECA Award, National Honor Society Award, and the Pro Deo et Schola Award, the highest award presented at Lutheran High School. This award is presented to a senior who has demonstrated leadership, influenced student activities, and is honored for their service to others. Franki is double majoring in Entrepreneurship and Communications with minors in Business and Leadership. Through her four years at college and beyond, her main goal is to stay happy and she is thrilled for the journey ahead.

“I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner… I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong… I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.” -Audrey Hepburn

Photo of Mercedes Kent

Mercedes Kent

Mercedes Kent was born in Omaha, Nebraska and has lived there her entire life until moving to Elon. In high school, she was President of her National Honor Society Chapter, and treasurer of her school's Junior Classical League (Latin Club). One of her many passions is sports. She played soccer, basketball and track in high school where she served as captain for each during her junior and senior year. Mercedes tried her hand at journalism sophomore year, and loved it. For the next two years she was sports editor of the online school newspaper, editor in chief of the Literary Magazine, and design editor of the yearbook. Upon high school graduation, she received the Caroline Swanson Award. This award is given to the senior girl who best embodies the ideals, academics and spirit of the school. She is currently Pre-Med with plans to attend medical school and become a heart surgeon. At Elon she is a member of the Women's Club Basketball team and hopes to volunteer with the Boys and Girls Club. She plans to study abroad as a junior or senior, and later continue her global experiences by becoming a member of Doctors Without Borders.

"The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it, for it is already there" -John Buchanan

Photo of Gabrielle (Gabby) Vance

Gabrielle (Gabby) Vance

Gabrielle (Gabby) Vance is a graduate of Severna Park High School and is from Millersville, Maryland. In high school, Gabby was the president of her high school's chapter of the National Honor Society, captain of her cross country/track teams, and a senior leader for her Young Life youth group. She also enjoys spending time with her family, her roommate and watching One Tree Hill. Gabby discovered her passion for leadership through her high school's leadership institute, which she was accepted into her freshman year of high school. During Gabby's senior year of high school, she founded a non-profit "Lemon Club" through the Alex's Lemonade Foundation which raises money for childhood awareness and research. The club thus far has raised about $4,000. Gabby hopes to bring the club to Elon. Gabby will be studying Political Science at Elon with a minor in Leadership Studies. She also hopes to do something with business. Gabby's dream job is to one day be on the U.S. Senate. Gabby is extremely honored and grateful to be part of the Leadership Fellows Class of 2018 and cannot wait to participate in all that this program has to offer.

"If you can dream it, you can do it", said by Walt Disney and one of her Dad's mottos, "The difference between managers and leaders is managers do things right but leaders do the right thing."

Photo of Olivia Ryan

Olivia Ryan

Olivia Ryan was born and raised in the beautiful town of Glen Rock, NJ and she is so happy to be a part of the Leadership Fellows program. In high school, she was very involved in a number of activities. For three years she served as the president of her high school's Gay-Straight Alliance where she led monthly meetings and organized events such as Ally Week, Day of Silence, and an anti-bullying program for the local middle school. She also served as president of the high school's choir program and director of her church's youth choir. Aside from this, her favorite activities were performing in various theatre productions and coffeehouses. She looks forward to performance opportunities around campus and learning more about what she is most passionate about. She cannot wait to see what Elon has in store for her.

“Leaders are not, as we are often led to think, people who go along with huge crowds following them. Leaders are people who go their own way without caring, or even looking to see, whether anyone is following them. ... True leaders, in short, do not make people into followers, but into other leaders." -John Holt

Photo of Coty Consic

Coty Consic

Coty Consic was proudly born and raised in the small town of Collinsville, Connecticut, where he graduated from Canton High School. While at Canton, Coty enjoyed involvement across a diversity of disciplines. Among his favorites were his role in student council, athlete on the track and field team, and member of the percussion ensemble. As Student Council President, Coty helped to generate school spirit through a variety of events and campaigns. Coty hopes to carry his spirit and voice to the Elon community. He also hopes to act on his immense passion for travel by taking advantage of Elon's fantastic study abroad program. Coty plans on majoring in Marketing, and is thrilled to see what legacy the class of 2018 Leadership Fellows will leave on Elon University!

"A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for." -John Augustus Shedd

Photo of Olivia Hobbs

Olivia Hobbs

Olivia Hobbs is from Tampa, Florida and graduated from the Academy of the Holy Names high school. In high school, she tried to get involved with everything in some way, shape, or form. Olivia was in almost all of the honor societies at her school as well as Golden Girls Spirit Club, MAPS (mentoring alumni partnering with student), Key Club, Medical Explorers, Empowering Women, Paw Club (animal club), and Respect for Life. In her hometown, Olivia participated in Girl Scouts (fun fact, she is the oldest girl scout on the west coast of Florida). Olivia also actively participated in many community service projects in her community. Some of these projects include the Ronald McDonald House, Metropolitan Ministries, Stop Hunger Now, and Coastal Cleanups. Some of Olivia’s areas of interest at Elon are the sciences (chemistry, biology, environmental science, etc.) and she is also an active member in the Leadership Fellows, I AM THAT GIRL, and the American Chemical Society.

"The question isn't who's going to let me; it's who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

Photo of Maggie Lowman

Maggie Lowman

Maggie Lowman is from Chagrin Falls, Ohio, a small suburb outside of Cleveland. She graduated with honors from Kenston High School where she served as secretary of National Honor Society and student council, editor of the yearbook, homecoming and blood drive committee member, and active participant in the theater department. Her sophomore year of high school, she was awarded an ovation for “best featured actress” from her county for her role in Anything Goes. She was also a part of Interact, her school’s service club, where she was lucky enough to be paired with a “little brother” as a part of the Big Brother Big Sister program and work shifts serving food at soup kitchens. Outside of her academic and service commitments she loves to travel, take long hikes with her dog, and binge watch shows on Netflix with her friends. Beyond this she finds passion in reading and writing. Her poetry has been featured in her town’s local literary journal, Janus. She is planning to major in the field of communications and dreams to one day traveling the world working for a travel guide company, be a magazine editor, or name nail polishes for OPI, whichever works out. For now she is content and fortunate enough to experience the incredible four-year adventure Elon has in store for her and is so blessed to have all of the other lovely Leadership Fellows by her side for the ride!

“A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position.” -John Maxwell

Photo of Andrew Adair

Andrew Adair

Andrew Adair is a graduate of Radnor High School in Radnor, Pennsylvania and is honored to be in the Leadership Fellows Program at Elon University. Throughout high school, Andrew developed and demonstrated his leadership skills throughout numerous clubs and organizations. He demonstrated his love for music in his 200-person marching band where he served as drum major. In addition, Andrew fed his love for politics by founding the Radnor Young Republicans Club and acting as club president. Andrew was also heavily involved with Radnor’s baseball and National Honors Society programs. Outside of school, Andrew is heavily invested in his local church where he served as Youth Representative on his church’s vestry and traveled on two different occasions to Guatemala for mission trips. Andrew also has a passion for giving back to the community which he was able to do by volunteering as a girls softball and basketball coach and making monthly meals for a local food bank in Norristown, PA. Andrew looks to his father, step-father, and previous employer as his role models and the biggest influence on his decision to seek a career in the business field. Now here at Elon University, Andrew is planning on double majoring in Finance and Political Science with a minor in Leadership Studies. One of the biggest draws to Elon for Andrew was the ability to immediately jump into leadership roles as a first-year student on campus. The opportunities provided at Elon coupled with the skills gained and lessons learned from the Leadership Fellows Program have Andrew very enthusiastic about his future as a leader both on campus and beyond.

“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.”-Ronald Reagan

Photo of Payton Auchenbach

Payton Auchenbach

Payton Auchenbach was born and raised outside of Dallas, Texas and graduated from Frisco Liberty High School. Experiences through athletics and the National Young Leaders program fostered an intensely competitive mindset and a desire to become a leader. She was fortunate to win a National Championship in Club Volleyball and became a four year varsity starter as well as a three year captain and multi-year all district Libero. Additionally, she helped lead her Constitutional Law team to a second place finish in the state tournament. She was also active in her school’s mentorship program, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, National Honor Society and her church youth group. Through these experiences plus her involvement in a prestigious Independent Study Mentorship class during her junior year she became dead set on a career as a lawyer. Payton graduated as a member of Cum Laude and the National Honor Society. She is very excited about the opportunity to live outside of Texas and absorb all the experiences that Elon and the Fellows Program have to offer.

“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” -Dwight D. Eisenhower

Photo of Austin Daugherty

Austin Daugherty

Austin Daugherty was raised in Zionsville, Indiana. He then attended Culver Military Academy and graduated as a First Lieutenant and member Battalion staff. Austin thrived throughout high school as he took advantage of many different leadership opportunities in the military system, athletics, and extracurricular activities. In his senior year, Austin held the position of Platoon Leader, where he is responsible for thirty cadets, and Battalion Staff member, where he was second in command of a battalion of about one hundred and fifty cadets. Austin also had leadership roles in athletics as he was defensive captain of the Culver varsity soccer team his senior year. Austin was very involved in extracurricular activities throughout his high school career. Austin was a four-year member and President of Culver’s Community Service Council where his organization raised awareness, raised money, and committed several hours of service to the local community. Austin was elected as the unit representative for Diversity Council, which helped spread awareness and handled disciplinary cases involving diversity. Austin was also a contributing member of the Global Studies Institute and elected as a unit representative of the Green Life Association. For his service project, Austin spent three years redefining, developing, and implementing a new leadership evaluation system based on position specific competency models. This new leadership evaluation system is now being used to determine ranks and positions within the corps of cadets. In college, Austin plans to major in Business Marketing and Computer Science so he can be well prepared for a career in the pharmaceutical consulting industry. While in college, Austin hopes to expand and strengthen his leadership abilities by taking an active role in improving his community whether it is within Elon or the surrounding community

“Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.” -General George Patton

Photo of Nikki Sanz

Nikki Sanz

Nikki Sanz was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she graduated from Charlotte Latin School. In high school, Nikki co-led the SISTERS program, a mentoring program helping freshman and sophomore girls. She organized and ran annual outdoor concerts at her high school to raise money for various charities. She attended leadership conferences, and prior to her senior year, she studied abroad to Argentina. Nikki made All-Conference on Varsity Lacrosse, Most Valuable Player on Varsity Tennis, and All-Conference on Varsity Dance Team. She is now a member of the Elon Dance Team. Nikki began singing, acting, and dancing at the age of 7, danced competitively, and performed in multiple shows for her school and local theaters. She was accepted into the Broadway Dreams Foundation and attended a summer intensive in Atlanta, Georgia to learn from Broadway stars. Nikki worked at a dance camp during her summers, and she also started her own summer dance camp and Christmas dance camp for girls at her house. Nikki shoots, edits, and produces commercial videos for local businesses, and she receives monthly checks from YouTube for allowing advertisements to be shown before her popular videos. Nikki is very humbled to have been accepted into such a prestigious program and cannot wait to see what the next four years have to offer.

"A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way." -John C. Maxwell

Photo of Lauren Levy

Lauren Levy

Lauren Levy was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee and graduated from Brentwood High School. Her passion for leadership and volunteerism was sparked at a young age by participating in Girl Scouts earning her Bronze, Silver, and Gold awards. By High School, Lauren was an active member of Interact club, National Honor Society, and a member of the Varsity tennis team. Outside of the classroom, Lauren was actively involved with Hands On Nashville, a service based organization. Her involvement in the Youth Volunteer Corp internship at Hands On Nashville during junior and senior years of high school taught her what it truly meant to be a leader. During the summer before her senior year, Lauren recognized the lack of leadership opportunities for youth in the Nashville area over the summer months. She created and implemented a program for Hands On Nashville called “Summer Youth Leader” where she trained and taught youths to be leaders in the community. Her implementation of this project awarded her the Daily Point of Light Award, a nationally awarded recognition established by the former president George H.W. Bush. Although Lauren is undecided in her college major, she is excited to explore many different areas of interest in hopes of involving her love for leadership into whatever career path she may take.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead

Dustin Farris

Dustin Farris is a graduate of Ashbrook High School in Gastonia, North Carolina. While at Ashbrook, Dustin participated in the National Honors Society, Junior Civitans, and Outdoor Club. He played soccer for both his high school and club team, where he enjoyed developing friendships with his teammates. Not only was Dustin active in his school, but he was also very involved in his church. He has a strong passion for his church youth group, which allowed him to participate in 6 mission trips as well as numerous service projects. Dustin was also the Youth Representative on his church council, where he took pride in voicing the opinions of his peers. Through participation in his church, Dustin developed the values which make him the person he is today. Along with balancing church, school, and a social life, he was an active Boy Scout. He participated in numerous campouts and other activities where he developed useful life skills. He was awarded his Eagle Scout in the summer before attending Elon. Dustin worked as a camp counselor this past summer at his local YMCA. He enjoyed his job and loves the relationships he made with the kids. Dustin has a strong interest in both History and Religious studies, and he looks forward to the experiences awaiting him at Elon.

Nicole Balas

Nicole Balas was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. She is a graduate from Charlotte Catholic High School and was a part of the National Honor Society during her tenure there. While she was there, she helped found a teenage sports ministry called Soka de Dios and was a member of the Teen Board for Soka. In addition to that she was that Co-President and Founder of Hunger pains, a club that collects uneaten food after lunch and brings it to the men’s shelter in Charlotte North Carolina. She received the Gold President’s Volunteer Service Award for completing over 250 hours of service and enjoys helping her community. Throughout her four years she worked as an Archive Administrator and IT Support at Wood Partners LLC and a Hostess at Chuy’s. She participated in marching band her first two years and symphonic band all four years of high school. In addition she played club soccer and was a cheerleader for both Junior Varsity and Varsity during all four years. She enjoys reading and is excited for her time here at Elon. She is a cheerleader for Elon and plans on majoring in International Business and Marketing with a minor in German and Leadership.

Photo of Max Gould

Max Gould

Max Gould, originally from New York City and raised in Greenwich Connecticut, has always had an avid interest in leadership. By the time he had graduated high school he had built two successful clubs, one community service club and another that focused on fitness and health. Max’s community service club called Help For The Homeless grew to one of the largest clubs in his high school with over 60 active members. He was awarded the Youth Leadership Award by Shelter for the Homeless and has been a mentor to numerous underclassmen interested in starting up their own organizations while in high school. Additionally, Max, a leader of Roots and Shoots club, a Jane Goodall community service action club, was interviewed during their annual Thanksgiving food drive where 100 Thanksgiving meals were delivered to families in need. At Elon, Max is an active student on campus as the Marketing Chair of Student Union Board and on the fundraising committee of HOPE a charity that raises money for food banks in Alamance County. He is currently planning on majoring in marketing here at Elon and is looking forward to the next four years.

“I would rather choke on greatness than nibble on mediocrity” –Unknown

Photo of Mike Krueger

Mike Krueger

Mike Krueger was born into a military family and has lived in numerous states, including Hawaii. He spent the majority of his life in Delaware where he graduated from Concord High School. Throughout high school, he became very involved in a variety of student organizations, such as National Honor Society and Boy Scouts. However, he found his passion for leadership in the Technology Student Association (TSA), a club that allows students to compete in technologically based competitions on both a state and national level. After being his high school’s TSA Chapter President, he progressed his way to representing the entire Delaware TSA organization as the State President. To mark the end of his high school experiences, he gave the final graduation commencement speech in front of nearly three thousand students and parents. At Elon, Mike is an Accounting major with a minor in Leadership Studies. The summer leading into his first-year at Elon, he participated in the Adventures in Leadership trip with thirty other incoming students. This experience was the start of his involvement with the Center for Leadership at Elon. He currently works on the Center for Leadership Team, lives on the Leaders in a Global World Living-Learning Community, and is involved in the LEAD Program. In the future, Mike hopes to become even more engaged in the Elon community and take full advantage of the incredible experiences available.

“What you do has far greater impact than what you say.” —Stephen Covey

Photo of Daniella Khoury

Daniella Khoury

Daniella Khoury is a graduate of Roswell High School in Roswell, GA. She has lived in the United States for the majority of her life; however, she lived in the country of Lebanon for five years. Her experiences abroad have influenced her decision to study Political Science and International Studies at Elon, which she is looking forward to. She is pursuing minors in Middle Eastern Studies and Peace and Conflict studies as well. In high school, Daniella worked as a volunteer for her local karate studio and became a head counselor in the summer camp program, as well as earned her black belt. She also was heavily involved in theatre and wrote, directed, and produced her own play as a part of a student-written play festival at her school. Daniella also led a small group at her church every Sunday. At Elon, Daniella is heavily involved in Model United Nations, and has competed in conferences at UNC Chapel Hill and Princeton University. She is also a board member of the Elon Crisis Conference, Elon’s first intercollegiate Model UN conference. Daniella also enjoys basking in the freedom of this great nation of ours, and hopes to one day work in the Foreign Service and represent the United States abroad. She hopes to travel the world and raise awareness about learning disabilities, an issue she is very passionate about.

“A leader, once convinced a particular course of action is the right one, must have the determination to stick with it and be undaunted when the going get rough.” –Ronald Reagan

Photo of Ginna Royalty

Ginna Royalty

Ginna Royalty is from Zionsville, Indiana and enjoyed being involved in her high school. She was involved in Student Council and was an active member for three years helping to plan and advertise events for the school. She was a one-on-one mentor in the Best Buddies club and enjoyed hanging out with her buddy Mark every month going to Steak ‘n Shake and getting fries and ice cream. Ginna also was a director for an all guy talent show called Mr. Zionsville for two years. At Elon, Ginna hopes to study Strategic Communications and go into the Public Relations field. She participated in the Elon Gap Semester which was the first semester of her freshman year. Ginna and 12 other students did a month of backpacking together, 4 weeks of service in 4 different states, and studied abroad in Costa Rica for 6 weeks and lived with a host family. Now that she is on campus, she is a member of Alpha Omicron Pi and various other clubs.

"Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing." -Albert Schweitzer