Human Service Studies hosts 2nd annual ‘Voices from the Field’ panel

Students heard from six alumni who shared advice about careers in K-12 and higher education, law enforcement, social work and entrepreneurship at the event.

Six alumni met with students in the Department of Human Service Studies to share their experiences and reflect on ways Elon shaped their career paths.

The second annual HSS Alumni Voices From the Field panel was held Feb. 28 in Oaks 212. Students heard from:

  • Six people posed for a group photo in Oaks 212
    From left, Noah Sakin ’16, Miles Williams ’15, Teresa Porter ’04, Kenneth Brown ’19, Hannah Hattori ’21, and Ashtyn Foddrell ’19 met with students at the HSS Alumni Voices From the Field event on Feb. 28.

    Kenneth Brown ’19, Elon’s assistant director of First-Generation Student Support Services;

  • Ashtyn Foddrell ’19, community relations liaison for the Danville Police Department in Danville, Virginia;
  • Hannah Hattori ’21, Elon’s assistant coordinator of alumni engagement – special events;
  • Teresa Porter ’04, founder of My Friend Teresa Studios;
  • Noah Sakin ’16, a corporal in Burlington Police Department’s Patrol Division in Burlington, North Carolina; and
  • Miles Williams ’15, principal of Bricolage Academy Elementary School in New Orleans.

The Student Professional Development Center’s Rhonda Kosusko, associate director of career services for the Dr. Jo Watts Williams School of Education and Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences, also attended to provide information and support for students.

Panelists emphasized the broad skills that human service studies majors acquire through courses and community-based learning and said those skills are transferrable to many roles and careers. They also reflected on the importance of their work in their communities.

“Human service studies professionals are not in the economy of things. We are in the economy of people,” Porter said.

Hattori said the knowledge gained through human service studies courses made her more aware of societal issues and how to intervene.

“I am curing the epidemic of loneliness because of the knowledge I gathered in my (HSS 2130) Groups and Communities class,” Hattori said.

After the panel, alumni met with individual students to discuss career plans and share advice.

“This HSS alumni panel brought the perfect blend of career storytelling, learning from experience and delightful humor,” said Judy Folmar, associate professor and chair of the Department of Human Service Studies. “It’s truly a mutually beneficial event. Students appreciated hearing about paths taken and not taken, as well as imagining themselves beyond life at Elon. HSS faculty enjoyed honoring and reconnecting with the alumni, who were thrilled to showcase their work and reflect on their human service journeys.”