With passion and determination, DiFrango is prepared to publish the 74th volume of the university’s literary and art journal.
What started as a small interest has turned into something much bigger for Caroline DiFrango ’23.
DiFrango, a creative writing and communication design double major, was sent home because of the COVID-19 pandemic during the spring of 2020 – her first year on campus. The thought of returning to Elon as a sophomore overwhelmed her.
Wanting to ease back into college life and interact with people her own age after six months at home, she joined Colonnades Literary and Art Journal.
DiFrango quickly started as a reader for the fiction and art sections. The organization allowed her to connect with Elon students before returning to campus in the spring. But she never expected to bond so closely with the people she had met.
“I found myself getting really attached to the two times a week that I was on Zoom with my fellow committee members,” DiFrango said. “It made me feel more comfortable coming back to campus because I had people to return to. It felt so good to find people with similar interests to me on campus.”
DiFrango was encouraged by her peers to get more involved and take the next step to section editor. She said she was shocked when co-advisers Tita Ramirez and Drew Perry, both associate professors of English, motivated her to apply for the editor-in-chief position instead.
Ramirez recognized DiFrango’s potential from her early days at Colonnades.
“Caroline DiFrango is, without a doubt, one of the most engaged, self-starting students I’ve ever worked with,” Ramirez said. “Her intellect and commitment, not just to her own writing, but to that of her peers, is one I rarely see at the undergraduate level. She is a true student of letters, which is why we were thrilled to hire her as this year’s editor-in-chief of Colonnades.”
DiFrango realized her writing and leadership skills proved her worth. But she still felt nervous when she applied and when her close friends reviewed her application for her.
Her mood shifted as she progressed through the hiring process and realized how much she cared about the magazine.
“I immediately felt that Drew and Tita were confident in my ability to handle the position, regardless of my minimal exposure to the different roles on staff,” DiFrango said. “If they think I can do it, then I know I can handle it.”
She said she hopes to bring students from different departments to Colonnades and looks forward to a magazine that “feels more indicative of the Elon community.”
“I definitely think that a lot of people try to go easier their final year,” DiFrango said. “But because of how unconventional my Elon journey has been, I think that Colonnades will feel more like a labor of love and less like work because it’s my final big project on campus and my concluding moment to feel like an Elon student.”