School of Communications welcomes Fellows candidates

Seventy-five high school seniors interested in studying communications visited Elon University during Fellows Weekend, held March 4-5, 2016. Following a competitive selection process, 25 students will be named 2016 Communications Fellows.

During the School of Communications’ March 4 Fellows reception, Associate Professor Tom Nelson (left), a member of the Fellows committee, chats with Emily Desrocher, a visiting high school senior. 
​The School of Communications welcomed to campus 75 candidates for its Communications Fellows program March 4-5 as part of Elon University’s Fellows Weekend. An additional 16 candidates who were unable to attend the two-day event were interviewed via phone, Skype and in person in the days and weeks leading up to the weekend.

The high school students are contending for 25 spots in the school’s Communications Fellows program, which selects applicants based on high school academic performance, involvement in communications-related activities, essays and an interview.

Communications Fellows are offered several exclusive opportunities such as enrollment in challenging Fellows courses, a chance to conduct and present undergraduate research, and close access to news conferences and Q&A sessions with campus speakers. Additionally, Fellows also travel to media hubs across the country, including trips to Atlanta and Central Florida.

As in past years, this cohort of candidates includes the best and brightest students at their respective high schools, which makes the selection process difficult – though it’s a pleasant problem to have, said Naeemah Clark, associate professor of communications and director of the Communications Fellows program.

Youssef Osman (left), assistant professor of communications, talks with Hannah Haar (right), a prospective Communications Fellow.
​“For me, I think the bar is raised every year because the students do so much during their high school careers,” said Clark. “This year, we had candidates who started their own newspapers. One started her own journalism class because her school didn’t offer one. Another student submitted a film for South by Southwest. Their level of expertise is just growing exponentially from year to year.”

​The schedule for Fellows Weekend consisted of several informational sessions and seminars, which included panels with current students and alumni.

The Communications Fellows candidates also attended a March 4 reception in the McEwen Communications Building. Communications faculty and staff, including Dean Paul Parsons, were on hand to discuss academic programs and educational opportunities. Likewise, current Communications Fellows and members of student media organizations were in attendance to answer questions.

Photos from the reception are available on the school’s Flickr page.

The following day, faculty and staff members conducted 30-minute interviews with the Fellows candidates. The students also attended a Core Curriculum Seminar and completed a writing assignment.