Meet the Class of 2025 Leadership Fellows
Kiara Cronin is a junior Leadership Fellow from Middlesex, NJ. She is majoring in Human Service Studies and triple minoring in Leadership Studies, Interreligious Studies, and French. Kiara is a Multifaith Scholar, thus, she in the process of a two-year research project regarding generational differences in spirituality and faith practices, and social media’s influence on those differences. Aside from being a Leadership Fellow, she is also heavily involved in Catholic Campus Ministry, where she is a Servant Leader. Her favorite volunteer experience during her time at Elon thus far has been working in the kitchen at Allied Churches of Alamance County, in which she helped prepare lunch and dinner plates for the homeless community in the county.
“The ones who have a voice must speak for those who are voiceless.” -Archbishop Oscar Romero
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
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
My name is Zach Fong and I’m from Hillsborough, North Carolina. I am a Music Production and Recording Arts major and also student-faculty in our music studios. I love talking about anything related to music and teaching people who are even a little bit interested. Let me know who your favorite artist is!
“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
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
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
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
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
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
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)
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
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)
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
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
Clara Watkins is a Junior Leadership Fellow from Marbury, MD. She is majoring in Economics & Policy Studies, with Minors in Leadership Studies, Peace & Conflict Studies, & Political Science. In addition to the Isabella Cannon Leadership Fellows cohort, she has also been a multifaith intern at the Truitt Center For Religious & Spiritual Life, and is currently a student office assistant there! Clara was also the Coordinator for Deliberative Dialogues for two years through Elon Votes, and is a member of the sorority Alpha Chi Omega. Clara’s Common Good Initiative is surrounding Reproductive Health and Economics, which ties into her research. She is very passionate about Social and Reproductive Justice and hopes to pursue a career in Public Policy. Some of her favorite shows include “Gilmore Girls,” “ West Wing,” “ New Girl,”and “Avatar The Last Airbender.”
“Fight for the things you care about. But do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” ~Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- Clara is the 2024 Leadership Fellows Student Director
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