Top 10 Under 10 Alumni Award recipients honored

The Office of Alumni Engagement and the Young Alumni Council honored 10 distinguished young alumni during the 4th Annual Top 10 Under 10 Alumni Awards Ceremony on March 22.

Surrounded by their family, friends and faculty and staff mentors, 10 young Elon alumni were recognized Saturday with the Top 10 Under 10 Alumni Awards during a special dinner celebration in Moseley Center.

The awards recognize alumni who have graduated in the past 10 years and who have enjoyed major professional success, made a big difference in their community and been loyal supporters of Elon.

“Listening to your stories tonight and hearing of your achievements, we are so proud of you. Your work is impressive, your lives are impressive,” President Leo M. Lambert said during the event. “Thank you for coming back to campus and reminding us about what we do and why we do it.”

Honored during the ceremony were:

Nichole Allem ’08
Foreign affairs officer, Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State

Nichole is a foreign affairs officer at the U.S. Department of State, specializing in public diplomacy and public affairs.

Based in the Bureau of International Information Programs, she is responsible for the recruitment and programming of American experts to engage on a variety of foreign policy issues with audiences across the Middle East and North Africa. Prior to assuming that role, she served as senior adviser for public affairs in the State Department’s international disability rights office.

Nichole graduated from Elon in 2008 with a degree in corporate communications and received master’s degrees in international relations and public relations from Syracuse University in 2010. While at Syracuse, she published several research papers, including a co-authored chapter on Islam and global media.

A native of Canton, Ohio, Nichole is a certified Level II U.S. masters swimming coach for the DC Triathlon Club Masters Swim Team, and a member of U.S. Masters Swimming and the American Swimming Coaches Association.

Mark Bender ’06 (in absentia)
Owner/managing partner, Grand Medical Center

Mark learned the value of education from an early age, but finding a career path did not come easy for the Miami native who spent his adolescence between schools in the Florida Keys and New Jersey.

After considering different programs, Mark graduated from Elon with a degree in chemistry in 2006 and later attended Palmer College of Chiropractic, graduating in 2010 with a doctorate in chiropractic. He started practicing in South Florida shortly after. During his time at Palmer, Mark participated in two Doctors Without Borders trips, was elected as a delegate to the World Congress of Chiropractic Students and wrote several research papers.

After taking some time off from the profession, Mark opened a multidisciplinary practice in 2012, Grand Medical Center, where he serves as a spinal triage specialist and works as a post-surgical rehabilitation coordinator. He has been accepted into the Morsani School of Medicine at the University of South Florida and is expected to graduate in 2018.

Mark attributes much of his professional success to his family and Elon professors.

David Douglas ’06
Producer, Al Jazeera America Network

David is a storyteller. The focus of his work as a producer with Al Jazeera America is to give a voice to those who might otherwise go unheard.

Based in Chicago, he has recently worked with the network’s correspondents and crews to break news on the West Virginia chemical leak that contaminated the drinking water for 300,000 mountain state residents. He has also helped document the fears of parents in Chicago’s South Side who had to send their children to school through rival gang turf and captured the concerns of Native Americans worried the Keystone XL pipeline will spoil the Great Plains.

Working as a freelancer prior to joining Al Jazeera, David produced an Emmy-winning election program, “Swing State Wisconsin,” for the CBS station in Madison, WISC-TV, and shared stories from the Midwest with the world for Agence France-Presse. Previous duty stations as a reporter included WISC-TV and WVIR-TV.

A 2006 communications graduate, he was instrumental in the creation of Elon’s weekly student-produced newscast “Phoenix14News,” which later became “Elon Local News.”

Nneka Enurah ’11
Segment producer/field producer, POPSUGAR Studio

A natural leader, Nneka was involved with Residence Life, the Multicultural Student Council and Greek Life during her years at Elon. She also worked as tour guide and multicultural ambassador for the Office of Admissions.

After graduating from Elon in 2011 with a media arts and entertainment degree, Nneka joined POPSUGAR Studios in Los Angeles, first as a production coordinator/executive assistant to the president and more recently as segment producer. In that role, she produces entertainment and lifestyle content from celebrity interviews, fitness tutorials, behind-the-scenes specials and live award season coverage. She also serves as one of the segment producers for “POPSUGAR Now,” TVGN’s daily entertainment news television show.

Always connected to her alma mater, Nneka serves as Homecoming chair for the Elon Black Alumni Network and will serve on the Los Angeles Alumni Chapter’s leadership team. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and a volunteer at LA Team Mentoring, where she works with young people.

Carson Foushee ’07 (in absentia)
Co-pastor, Kanazawa International Baptist Church,Cooperative Baptist Fellowship

Carson has a passion for helping to meet the physical and spiritual needs of people around the globe.

He and wife Laura live in Kanazawa, Japan, where they are field personnel members of Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, or CBF for short, working alongside the Kanazawa Baptist Church and Toyama Koizumi-cho Church to minister to Japanese and internationals through English language ministries and community involvements.

Since graduating from Elon in 2007, Carson has assisted with CBF ministries and projects in the United States, China, Romania, Ethiopia, Uganda, Mexico, Nicaragua and Indonesia. He obtained his Master of Divinity from Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology with a track of study in global christianity and was ordained by the First Baptist Church of Elon, N.C., in 2011.

Raised in Statesville, N.C., Carson is an avid college basketball fan and a “Phoenix Phanatic” through and through.

Kelsey Glover ’11
Chief executive officer, KLG Strategic Solutions, LLC

At Elon, she focused her studies on the Middle East, the Arabic language and other social movements in the region for her Honors Fellows thesis.

After graduating in 2011 with degrees in strategic communications and international studies, and having to forgo a professional opportunity in Cairo, Egypt, due to political unrest, Kelsey took on various communications roles in the Washington, D.C. area. She served as director of media and public affairs at the Embassy of Afghanistan and worked directly with the ambassador and other senior Afghan and U.S. officials. Kelsey recently founded her own company, KLG Strategic Solutions LLC, and currently serves as an adviser and the spokeswoman for the Coalition for Afghan Democracy.

In her spare time, Kelsey enjoys working with the Digital Diplomacy Coalition—a group of public affairs officials who provide leadership in the growing field of digital diplomacy. She also stays actively connected to Elon serving as the young alumni coordinator for the Washington, D.C., Alumni Chapter.

Sara Gould ’09
Fifth grade team lead and reading teacher, KIPP DC Will Academy

A passionate educator, Sara began working at KIPP DC in the summer of 2011.

In her relatively short tenure with KIPP, a nationally recognized network of public charter schools that is raising the expectations of public education in underserved communities, Sara’s dedication to the school’s mission and her ability to translate the KIPP vision into results with her students has set her apart from her peers. She has been promoted into multiple leadership roles, most recently accepting the fifth grade chair position.

As a proud Elon elementary education graduate, Sara has leveraged her personal experience to motivate and inspire her students. She shares her passion for Elon through photos and posters in her classroom and Elon prizes like T-shirts and stickers. One of her proudest moments at KIPP DC was taking 45 sixth graders on an overnight trip to Greensboro, N.C., where they were able to take a day trip to tour Elon’s campus. Prior to teaching at KIPP, Sara spent two years teaching fourth grade in DC Public Schools.

Jennifer Heilman ’07
Communications specialist, Arlington County Government

In her role as the digital communications lead and media relations specialist for the largest department at Arlington County Government, Jennifer is often the community’s virtual face and spokeswoman for all capital infrastructure projects, environmental sustainability and public works and transportation services.

A journalism major at Elon, Jennifer first landed a job in Washington, D.C., at the National Museum of Health and Medicine at the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Shortly after she obtained her master’s degree in journalism and public affairs from American University while transitioning to work in the nonprofit sector. She continues to provide consulting services to area nonprofits in digital communications and event planning.

Jennifer is the president of Elon’s D.C. Alumni Chapter where she’s increased programming by hosting nearly 30 events a year and continues to make it the most active chapter in the country. In the past year, the chapter has been the recipient of two awards, including a $2,000 scholarship from the Capital Alumni Network—a network composed of more than 250 D.C.-based alumni clubs.

Jennfier also volunteers as a disaster digital volunteer for the American Red Cross by monitoring social media, and engaging and reporting on activity during widespread disasters.

Brian McGuire ’04 (in absentia)
Vice president of treasury management services, Private Bank of Buckhead

Brian is vice president of treasury management services at Private Bank of Buckhead.

The Marietta, Ga., native joined the bank five years ago and has worked in Atlanta banking for the past 10 years. Before transitioning into banking, he worked for Intuit, Inc.

Brian earned his undergraduate degree in business administration from Elon in 2004 and his MBA from Georgia State University in 2010. While at Elon, he participated in the Elon Enterprise Academy, a program that provided students with real world organizational experience.

An active member within the Atlanta community, Brian is the incoming president of the Buckhead Business Association and serves on the board of directors for the Rotary Club of Midtown Atlanta and the funding advisory board for Lekotek of Georgia, a small nonprofit that helps mentally disabled children through play. He is also a member of the Virginia-Highland Civic Association.

Jarvier “Jay” Young ’08
Business manager/chief operating officer, Wells Fargo Middle Market Investment Banking

Since joining Wells Fargo in 2008, Jay has worked in both client facing roles and key support areas.

In his role as business manager and chief operating officer, he oversees all business activities, planning, reporting, projects and internal functions for Middle Market Investment Banking. Prior to joining Wells Fargo, he interned at Honda of North America’s Divisional Headquarters in their corporate finance division.

Jay graduated from Elon in 2008 with a business administration degree. A former football player, he is an active volunteer in the community, serving as a Clean Air Carolina planning committee member, Hands on Atlanta volunteer and member of the Wells Fargo Volunteers network. He has been nominated two times to receive the Wells Fargo Service Excellence Award and received numerous Wells Fargo Shared Success awards.

Jay was born in Charleston, S.C., and grew up in Norfolk, Va. In his free time, he enjoys visiting family, attending sporting events and traveling. He is a huge fan of the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia Eagles, Atlanta Braves and all Elon University sports.

The awards recognize alumni who have graduated in the past 10 years and who have enjoyed major professional success, made a big difference in their community and been loyal supporters of Elon. The Office of Alumni Engagement and the Young Alumni Council will honor these distinguished young alumni at the 4th Annual Top 10 Under 10 Alumni Awards Ceremony on Saturday, March 22 at 7 p.m. in the Lakeside Dining Hall.

For more information about the awards, contact Jordan Bacharach, coordinator of young alumni and student engagement, at