Meet the Class of 2025 Leadership Fellows

Photo of Alli Barnett.

Alli Barnett

Allison (Alli) Barnett is a first year here at Elon University from The Colony, TX. During her time in high school, she was actively involved in her school’s theatre program, National English Honor Society, National Honor Society, and Junior Classical League. In just a few short months here at Elon, Alli is now diving into Student Government Association as the Academic and Honors Senator, her PACE job at the Student Professional Development Program, First generation Student Support Services, Classics Club, Elon Survivor, and now is part of the class of ‘25 cohort in the Leadership Fellows Program! She plans to pursue a degree in Sociology along with her double minor in Classical and Leadership Studies to then, hopefully, take the tools she has learned here at Elon to law school on her path to becoming a civil rights lawyer. When Alli isn’t in class or attending an organization function, she loves to play card games and host game nights with her friends in her hall or have Disney movie marathons. You can also find her hanging around in her hammock on Lake Mary Nell on sunny days reading her favorite book, “Pride and Prejudice”. She is so excited about being a member of the Leadership Fellows program and cannot wait to learn and grow from each of her fellow fellows! “Leadership is an action, not a position.” - Donald McGannon

Photo of Kiara Cronin.

Kiara Cronin

Kiara Cronin is from Middlesex, New Jersey. While in high school, Kiara was captain of her school’s varsity soccer team, a Peer Leader, a student ambassador, and a member of the crisis management team. She also held executive positions in various clubs and was an active member in several National Honors Societies. At Elon, Kiara is part of the Service LLC and intramural kickball and soccer. She also hopes to explore the many opportunities Elon Volunteers provides. Kiara is hoping to make the most of her time at Elon by getting involved, working hard, and being a leader to those around her. She values the qualities of a tight-knit community and looks forward to engaging with that community on a daily basis. “Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself. It is precisely that simple and it is also that difficult.” -Warren Bennis

Photo of Julia Cunningham.

Julia Cunningham

Julia Cunningham, from Newtown, PA, is a member of the Class of 2025 Isabella Cannon Leadership Fellows cohort. At Elon University, Julia is majoring in Biology with a minor in Leadership Studies and Neuroscience. She is excited to get involved in different organizations at Elon and experience all that Elon has to offer! During high school, Julia was involved in several different organizations. She was a member of the Cross Country and Track & Field teams, Student Council, the National Honor Society, the Community Service Corps club, and Athletes Helping Athletes. During her senior year of high school, Julia was President of the Community Service Corps club at her school, allowing her to develop her leadership skills and continue to serve others, which is one of her biggest passions. Julia has also been an active Girl Scout for over ten years and has most recently earned her Gold Award, which is the highest honor a Girl Scout can achieve. Outside of academics, Julia loves to spend time with her family and friends, play with her dog, and go for runs! “Leaders become great not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others.” - John Maxwell

Photo of Joseph Dougherty.

Joseph Dougherty

Joseph Dougherty is from Raleigh, North Carolina. During Joseph’s high school experience at North Carolina Cyber Academy, he took advantage of as many leadership opportunities as possible. Joseph was the Student Government President from 2020-2021, the founder of the Great Leaders Club, a member of the National Honor Society and a speaker at the National Honor Society Induction Ceremony, as well as a keynote speaker at the class of 2021 graduation. Outside of high school, Joseph was on the Raleigh Tennis Association Leadership Council, focusing on promoting tennis related activities and creating tennis events throughout Raleigh, with a goal to improve health and physical well-being for Raleigh area residents of all ages. Joseph was also a leader by being a role model for peers and younger kids at the Raleigh Racquet Club junior tennis academy, where he trained 6-9 hours a day to be able to achieve the opportunity to play Division I college tennis. Throughout all these experiences, Joseph strove to learn as much as possible about what it means to be a leader and how he could become a better one. He also applied those learnings to help those around him to become better leaders. During Joseph’s college adventure at Elon University, he is excited to learn leadership skills from his teammates on the tennis team, his professors, the Elon administration, and from other motivated peers. He is also excited to pursue Psychology as his intended major, with a minor in leadership studies. Joseph cannot wait to get involved in as many leadership opportunities as possible during his college career and apply these learned values to his Elon experience, as well as life outside and beyond his time as an Elon student. “Life is like a snowball. The important thing is finding wet snow and a really long hill.” – Warren Buffett

Photo of Robin Falkow.

Robin Falkow

Robin Falkow is a first-year from Ramsey, New Jersey, and is beyond excited to be a Leadership Fellow! In high school, Robin was on the Debate and Mock Trial teams. She was also a photographer for the yearbook and school public relations. Outside of school, she spent much of her time building leadership skills in her community. As a Girl Scout of 13 years, Robin earned her Gold Award for her project to create meaningful dialogue across cultural groups in the community. During her junior and senior years, Robin served as the Communications Vice President and President, respectfully, for her regional youth group, NFTY-Garden Empire Region. Robin is passionate about social justice, advocacy, and volunteering, which she hopes to continue throughout her years in college. At Elon, Robin is interested in pursuing a double major in Strategic Communications and Political Science, in addition to her minor in leadership studies. She is currently serving in the Student Government Association as a Class of 2025 Senator and is looking forward to what the rest of her time at Elon brings. In her free time, Robin likes to bake, practice photography, and listen to music. “There’s nothing we can’t do if we work hard, never sleep, and shirk from all other responsibilities in our lives.” – Leslie Knope

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Zach Fong

Zachary Fong was born in Elverson, PA before moving to Chapel Hill, NC. He currently lives in Hillsborough, NC, which is only 30 min away from Elon. He attended Eno River Academy for high school and participated in extra curriculars such as Tri-M, National Honors Society, Coaching (ultimate frisbee), and various musical activities. Outside of school, he assisted in charity organizations, such as TABLE and PORCH. He is planning on majoring in both Music Production and Entrepreneurship with relative confidence on wanting to become a professional musician. He is interested in working with Limelight records, and potentially some other local music venues. In addition, he would like to participate in local groups similar to TABLE and PORCH. "Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them become what they are capable of being." -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Photo of Alyssa Frazier.

Alyssa Frazier

Alyssa Frazier is a first-year leadership fellow from Holmdel, New Jersey. She is currently exploring her interests as an undecided major with a minor in Leadership Studies. In high school, Alyssa was a member of the Youth Alliance Association, Peer Leaders Program, National Honors Society, and the President of the National Italian Honors Society. In order to foster her creative side, Alyssa danced at the Perna Dance Center in New Jersey and as a four-year member of Holmdel High School’s Varsity Dance Team. In her free time, Alyssa enjoys spending time with family and friends, going to the beach, playing the ukulele, and going on spontaneous adventures. At Elon, Alyssa would like to get involved in the Elon News Network, the Italian Club, Elon Volunteers, and possibly Greek Life. Alyssa hopes to fulfill her dream of traveling the world by taking advantage of Elon’s highly regarded study abroad program and participating in month-long and semester-long study abroad trips. She is honored to be a part of the Isabella Cannon Leadership Fellows Program and is thrilled for the opportunities to come! “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” -Maya Angelou

Photo of Anna Hickey.

Anna Hickey

Anna Hickey was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina. In high school, Anna was the Student Body President as well as a member of several clubs such as speech and debate, youth in government, and several honor societies. She served as the Youth Secretary of State for the South Carolina Youth in Government Program. Within this position, Anna directed and led the state conference held at the capital where she planned events, aided in the review of bills, and was in charge of running elections. As her school’s president she ran the spirit week fundraiser that raised 78,220 dollars for the charity, Angel Heart of Hope. She initiated several projects around the school such as a brand-new mental health awareness week. Anna also helped around her community by volunteering for organizations such as the Greenville Humane Society and Meals on Wheels. Entering Elon, Anna is on an exploratory track and is so excited to discover what opportunities lie ahead these next four years. “A little bit of mercy makes the world less cold and more just.” - Pope Francis

Photo of Chris Jahn.

Chris Jahn

Chris Jahn is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In high school, Chris served as Co-President of his school’s Interact Club. His Interact Club worked directly with the local Rotary Clubs in several efforts to serve the community through volunteer service and community events. He also founded the “QuaranTEAM” committee his senior year in an attempt to help minimize the social, academic, and physical stresses felt by students in his high school during the height of Covid. Working directly with his administrators, teachers, and fellow students, he helped to make the best of a difficult situation. At Elon, Chris is currently one of the newest additions to Rip Chord (Elon’s Men A cappella Group), and is still looking for ways of becoming involved with the local community to continue his volunteer service work. He intends to found a “Rotaract” Club (the collegiate version of Interact) at Elon and to go from there. He also intends to start a podcast and to join a club sport. Chris intends to follow through with the Leadership Studies Minor in addition to pursuing the International Business Dual Degree Program, specifically the German path which also leads to a Minor in German. “Veni, Vidi, Vici” or “I came, I saw, I conquered” — Julius Caesar

Photo of Avi Kurtz.

Avi Kurtz

Avi Kurtz is a freshman from Winston Salem, North Carolina who is currently studying Political Science with a minor in Leadership Studies. In high school Avi was heavily involved with her Jewish youth group, BBYO. She held leadership positions on the local, regional, and international level. Avi was also the president of three clubs in high school, Girls Service Club, Israel Education Club, and Young Democrats Society. She was the founder of her schools mentorship organization, where she served as the mentor for the middle school- providing guidance and positivity to those who needed it. Avi embraced a multitude of leadership positions and is passionate about creating positive change in her community. At Elon, she is eager to get more involved on campus, is excited to study abroad, and take advantage of the many mentorship opportunities provided to her. "What you do has far greater impact than what you say"-Stephen Covey

Photo of Charlotte McCormick.

Charlotte McCormick

Charlotte McCormick is originally from Southern California but moved to Raleigh, North Carolina a few years ago. While in high school, she participated in a variety of clubs and held leadership positions as chief editor of her school’s yearbook, president and founder of Women’s Club, class representative, captain of the Debate Team, and graduated earning Summa Cum Laude. Charlotte also founded a non-profit charity, Visiting Blossoms, seeking to bring joy to those in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. At Elon, Charlotte is interested in studying Political Science and Communications, while pursuing her Leadership Studies minor. She is a member of the Student Government Association and Catholic Campus Ministry. She is looking forward to increasing her involvement in community service by working with organizations like Elon Volunteers and the Village Project, as well as pursuing further civic and philanthropic initiatives in Alamance County. In her free time, Charlotte enjoys cooking, traveling, exercising, going to coffee shops, and spending time outdoors with family and friends. "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 Destiny Okonkwo.

Destiny Okonkwo

Ugochi Okonkwo, preferably called Destiny, is an Elon Leadership Fellows student class of 2025. With the pronouns of she/her, she is from Winston-Salem North Carolina, or at least lived there before moving into Elon. She is a first-generation American, she and the rest of her family are Nigerian from the state of Anambra. In school, she ran both indoor and outdoor track and field all her four years while being an active participant in many clubs such as Reagan Girls Service Club, Spirit Club, Black Achievers, Black Queens, and Crosby Scholars. In school, she has won many awards with track and academics such as the Women's Conference 4AA, National Honor Society, and even Reagan girls Service Club MVP. Destiny is planning on majoring in Psychology and minoring in Entrepreneurship. She is interested in pursuing a career path of being a psychiatrist. “We need to accept that we don’t always make the right decisions that we’ll screw up royally sometimes. Understand that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.”- Arianna Huffington (Founder & CEO, Thrive Global)

Photo of Joserth Salas Chaves.

Joserth Salas Chaves

Joserth Salas Chaves from Cary, North Carolina, is a first-year student at Elon University. Joserth is pursuing a major in Engineering and a minor in Leadership Studies. In high school, he participated in various food drives at his church to distribute to those in need which gave him the opportunity to lift spirits and encourage others when he interacted with them. He founded Status Free, a company that was designed towards a demographic of people who center their lives towards urban culture and lifestyle, while maintaining a positive and open mindset towards the world. Moreover, Joserth was a member of DECA all throughout high school and he ended up being named Regional Finalists in 2018. He was a part of an interfaith club which allowed him to foster religious tolerance through exposure to different faiths. Joserth is passionate about soccer which inspired him to take on the role of a camp counselor with his high school soccer team and referee for little league recreational soccer. Apart from his involvement in high school, he is an Odyssey Scholar who will be tutoring local elementary children through The It Takes a Village Project. Joserth is looking forward to his first year at Elon University; he will be involved with the Engineering club, Elon Volunteers, and El Centro de Español. “It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the most responsive to change.” - Charles Darwin

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Avery Sloan

Avery Sloan is a leadership fellow from Apex, NC. She is a journalism major with minors in leadership studies and political science. In high school she was an officer for her school's speech and debate team and spent a lot of time focused on running her regional youth group as the president her senior year. At Elon, she is involved with Elon News Network and Hilllel and plans to stay involved with these organizations during her time at Elon. At her time at Elon she hopes to study abroad and form deeper connections both within these organizations and beyond. “Chaos already dominates our lives, the universe is an endless raging sea of randomness. Our job isn’t to fight it but to weave it together, on the raft of life. A raft held together by those few rare beautiful things that we know to be predictable. - Abed Nadir

Photo of Chase Strawser.

Chase Strawser

Charles Strawser IV, known as Chase, is a first-year Leadership Fellow from Germantown, Maryland. He currently plans to major in Journalism with a minor in Leadership Studies. In high school, Chase was involved in a variety of clubs and organizations. He was a member of the Lacrosse team, National Honor Society, Rho Kappa Honor Society, Northwest Ambassadors, JagTV, and served as Manager & Announcer for the Field Hockey Team. He also served as a leader for FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) and was voted Captain for the Swim & Dive team. Outside of school, Chase was an active member in his church youth group and community swim team, taking on the role of Junior Coach. At Elon, he is involved with Elon Club Swim, Elon Sports Vision, Elon News Network, and hopes to get involved in more! “Hate is always foolish, and love is always wise. Always try to be nice and never fail to be kind.” - The Doctor (Doctor Who)

Photo of Marques Walker.

Marques Walker

Marques Walker is from Concord, North Carolina. Throughout his high school career, he won back-to-back state championships in basketball his junior and senior year, on top of being involved in Student Government, Athletic Leadership Council, Relay for Life, and starting his own Non-Profit Organization, “From Hotels to Homeless Shelter”, with his older sisters. Marques loved spending his summers working at the Nike Basketball Camp for 4th-9th graders. At Elon, he intends on majoring in Marketing with minors in Leadership Studies and Finance. He has hopes to study abroad in France, get involved with Elon News Network (ENN), and play intramural and club sports while building connections with career services to land an internship that fits his liking. “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” – Winston Churchill

Photo of Lindsey Ward.

Lindsey Ward

Lindsey Ward is a freshman joining the Elon community from Potomac, Maryland. She decided to attend Elon in hopes of discovering new passions, furthering her education, and improving upon her leadership skills. Throughout high school, Lindsey partnered with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and became deeply passionate about the cause. Her sophomore year, she took part in the Student of the Year Campaign earning third place by raising $117,000 in six weeks for cancer research. Her junior and senior year, she was chair of the Junior Leadership committee and spoke at many events advocating for the cause. Her passion and drive led her to the Isabella Cannon Leadership Fellows Program. Lindsey also enjoys riding horses competitively and hopes to join the equestrian team. She plans to get involved with Greek life and other on campus organizations. "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 Bria Wurst.

Bria Wurst

Bria Wurst is a first-year Leadership Fellow from Cary, North Carolina. She’s currently studying Strategic Communications with a minor in Leadership Studies. Throughout her time in high school, Bria had the opportunity to serve in various leadership positions. As President of the Creative Writing Club, she spent much of her time planning meeting activities, rehearsing creative presentations, and managing social media platforms. She guided the club in their first and second publications of her school’s newly established Literary Magazine “Outside the Margins.” Additionally, Bria volunteered in the Writing Center every week as a peer tutor; she was also a reporter for the school newspaper and an active member of Key Club. Outside of school, Bria coordinated a community-wide book drive after learning that elementary-age children within her area were struggling with reading. She took all donations to Book Harvest, a nonprofit organization in Durham, North Carolina that works to ensure that every child has access to a wide variety of books. At Elon, she hopes to continue to make a positive impact on those around her through Elon News Network, Elon Volunteers, the It Takes a Village project, Colonnades, and the Center for Leadership. She knows that these organizations as well as the Leadership Fellows Program will help to further her passions and allow her to grow while at Elon. Bria feels so lucky to be a part of this program and she’s looking forward to what the next four years hold for her and the 2025 cohort! “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”- Maya Angelou