#ElonGrad 2022 spotlight: Ellen Fiedler, human service studies

In this series, Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences is shining the spotlight on distinguished members of the Class of 2022 from a wide array of disciplines.

Ellen Fiedler in graduation gownEllen Fiedler ’22 was recognized this spring with the Department of Human Service Studies’ Outstanding Senior Award.

This fall, Fiedler will enroll in the Master of Social Work program at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.

Fiedler became involved with the Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life beginning her first year and says the experience defined her college experience.

“I was a multifaith intern my sophomore and junior years, during which I was responsible for envisioning, planning and executing Truitt Center events and programs,” Fiedler said. “I served as the Ripple Interfaith Conference 2020 Special Events Coordinator and the 2021 Social Media Coordinator, and I have promoted the Truitt Center through social media, photography and the creation of promotional materials throughout the four years I have worked here.

“The people I have met at the Truitt Center, both peers and mentors, are people who I know will be in my life long after graduation. My time there is what made Elon my home away from home,” Fiedler said.

How did you choose your human service studies major?

I want to make people feel seen, not just for who they are in the present moment but for how every experience they’ve had, every system they’ve been affected by and every hope they have for the future has shaped them. I want this to be my job.

Did you have a mentor or a professor who played a significant role in your Elon experience?

Professor Monica Burney taught three of my human service studies classes, was my academic advisor and has been a mentor to me since my sophomore year. She has pushed me to be confident in my abilities as a student and as a future social worker. I would not be on the path that I am currently on without her guidance and support. Having a professor who I feel that I can confide in about my insecurities, my fears, and my dreams for my future has been a crucial part of my Elon experience.

What advice would you give first-year students?

College does not have to be the best four years of your life. There will be moments when you feel that it is. But there will also be moments that make you think, “Is this really it?”

For me, college was not the best four years of my life, but it was certainly the most formative. I grew as a student, as a leader and as a human being more than I thought possible at Elon. This growth was not always easy or pretty, but it is the reason I am the person I am today. Embracing growth also means embracing hardship. College can be a wonderful experience, but it is not the pinnacle of your wonderful life.