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Fit for Life

SPR I N G 2014


As a kid, Jared Allen ’14 was a performer of all varieties: violinist, singer, saxophonist, dancer. But it was his role as Nick Bottom in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at age 10 that sealed the deal. He’s been in love with acting ever since. Accepted into Elon’s Honors Fellows program but not into the theater program, Jared had to decide whether Elon was the right fit. “The quality of education at Elon was more important to me than just going to school for acting,” he says. He came to Elon determined to get into performing arts, which he accomplished after another audition in his first year. Courses in history and astronomy were among his favorites, and he’s participated in multiple service trips abroad, leading one to Nicaragua last year. He says these experiences were invaluable to his personal development. “It was important for us to reflect on what service means, recognizing what you can and cannot change,” he says.

Watch the full story at

CONTENTS For his Fellows research project, Jared wrote and performed a one-man show, “Lost in the Limelight.” The hour-long piece tells the story of Calvero, Charlie Chaplin’s character in his 1952 film “Limelight.” “It came out great. Rewarding artistically and intellectually, it was my proudest accomplishment at Elon,” he says. Although he recognizes theater is a challenging pursuit, he knows enjoying it is part of the experience. “Ultimately acting is just a lot of fun, and if you’re good enough to get paid to do it, then you’ve got it made,” he says. Since he just landed a full-time position with the Maples Repertory Theatre in Missouri, Jared appears to be on his way. Jared is Elon. Visit to see more of Jared’s story, part of our “I Am Elon” multimedia series featuring Elon students in their own words.



An immunologist-turned-businessman, Niclas Stiernholm ’89 is at the helm of a Canadian biopharmaceutical company making advances in the fight against cancer.




Get a behind-the-scenes look at this year’s Sochi Winter Olympics through the eyes of two Elon alumni and an assistant professor who covered the event.





Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be difficult, particularly for children. But thanks to Elon community partnerships, the decision to be healthy is getting easier.




When Toorialey Fazly ’14 left Afghanistan in 2010 to come to Elon, he was expecting the experience to be uneventful. What he found instead transformed his life.

2 Under the Oaks 10 Long Live Elon 12 Phoenix Sports 27 Alumni Action 31 Class Notes On the cover: Elon students and local children participate in the Coaching Health and Mentoring Positive Students (CHAMPS) program in the spring.


▶ from the PRESIDENT




n March 11, 2014, we celebrated Elon’s 125th anniversary in grand style. What was remarkable and special about this year’s Founders Day was the inclusion of thousands of alumni in the celebration, mostly brought about through the power of social media. The Twitter hashtag #ElonDay trended nationally for a time and alumni shared creative photographs about how they were celebrating in their workplaces and homes all over the world through Facebook and Instagram. Alumni also set a record for participation in giving to Elon on that day. In many important ways, our quasquicentennial year has been the “Year of the Alumni.” We opened the Martin Alumni Center in the fall, staffed with several new alumni engagement officers. Attendance at Homecoming hit an all-time high. The New York Evening for Elon at the Plaza Hotel in September attracted more than 700 alumni and friends of the university who enjoyed the premiere of the new alumni video produced by Tim Johnson ’09 and Max Cantor ’10. Similar events are being held all over the country this year, including a recent gathering at the Sony Pictures Studios in Los Angeles. Thirty-two alumni professional networking events were hosted all over the nation

in January, proving that The Elon Network is robust and thriving. A new alumni committee of the Board of Trustees has been formed to ensure that Elon is doing everything it can in support of one of the key pillars of the Elon Commitment strategic plan—building a vibrant, active alumni network. As part of our continued emphasis on alumni development, more than 2,400 of you took the time to respond to an alumni survey about your relationship with Elon. A detailed analysis of the survey results was shared with the Alumni Board and the Young Alumni Council in March and I am pleased to share some highlights with The Magazine of Elon readers: → Alumni are overwhelmingly pleased with the quality of their Elon education, and rate particularly highly their “ability to interact with persons different from themselves,” “commitment to lifelong learning and development,” “preparation for a successful career,” “preparation for professional leadership” and “global perspective and cultural understanding.” → Alumni are overwhelmingly proud of their affiliation with Elon and are proud of the ways the university has grown in recent years.


→ While only 33 percent of alumni from the 1970s reported having received scholarships or grants while students, that percentage had increased to 63 percent of respondents for alumni graduating after 2010. → Speaking of support for students, alumni giving is on the upswing as alumni give back to support those experiences on campus that were so personally meaningful to them as students. More than 90 percent of alumni in this survey said they had made a gift to the university or intend to do so soon. → Alumni highly value the Elon Experiences and give especially high marks to their study abroad, campus leadership and internship experiences. → Alumni affinity is rated most highly with the university overall and with faculty and staff. The next most highly rated affinities are with academic programs, student organizations and fraternities and sororities. → Alumni are living farther from campus; the typical young alumnus lives 400 miles from Elon. Alumni told us how important it is for Elon to continue to invest in regional alumni chapters, activities and networking events all over the world. → The Elon Network is growing in importance in the lives of alumni. Alumni use LinkedIn and report alumni networking events are important resources for career development. → Elon alumni enjoy The Magazine of Elon and read it regularly. Alumni have also embraced social media to stay connected with Elon, but challenged us to build a consistent brand across all communications channels. → Alumni want to stay involved and help out the university in specific ways. Most cited were mentoring current students for career success, recruiting new students to Elon, networking to assist fellow alumni with a job change or geographic relocation, attending reunions with affinity groups and providing internships and career placements for recent graduates. From my vantage point, we have crossed an important threshold in this “Year of the Alumni.” Today, it feels like alumni are an omnipresent part of daily campus life, our campus mindset, and ongoing institutional planning and decision-making like never before. And beyond the campus, The Elon Network has gained significant traction, and alumni are connected to helping current students and each other in professional advancement in new and powerful ways. This is pivotal because, as I have stressed often this past year and believe with every ounce of conviction, Elon’s future reputation rests upon the accomplishments of its alumni. Based on the creativity and drive and innovative spirits of the alumni I know, that future will certainly be bright.

New edition of book detailing Elon’s rise to prominence released In connection with Elon’s quasquicentennial, Johns Hopkins University Press has re-issued George Keller’s classic book, Transforming a College: The Story of a Little-Known College's Strategic Climb to National Distinction. The new edition includes a foreword and afterword by Elon President Leo M. Lambert. An eminent scholar in the field of higher education planning, the late Keller was impressed by Elon’s progress and analyzed the university’s strategies, producing a compelling case study that has been cited as an example of institutional transformation by college faculty, administrators and trustees around the world. The book, which was first published in 2004, is in its sixth printing and has been translated into Japanese, Korean and Chinese. For the new edition, the publisher asked Lambert to detail the university’s continuing progress in positioning Elon as a top-ranked liberal arts university and a national leader in engaged teaching and learning. “George Keller’s incisive analysis of Elon’s strategies and the university’s transformation has proven to be a valuable resource for trustees, faculty and administrators,” Lambert said. “I am pleased to contribute to this updated edition and help readers understand what has happened at Elon in the past decade, including our accomplishments, the challenges we have grappled with and our plans for the future.” The book is available in paperback and electronic book format.



lon performing arts students teamed up with student-athletes for a record-setting “Night of the Phoenix” event in February. The seventh annual event, which is a fundraiser coordinated by the Phoenix Club Advisory Board, featured a program of sports-themed musical numbers. Talented Elon vocalists and dancers, who normally delight audiences in McCrary Theatre, donned Phoenix uniforms and performed Broadway musical hits in Alumni Gym, including “Go the Distance” from Hercules and “Team” from You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Student-athletes personally thanked donors and helped with the silent auction of sports memorabilia. The event raised more than $162,000 in support of athletics scholarships.

Leo M. Lambert President spring 2014  3

UNDER THE OAKS The Magazine of Elon spring 2014 | Vol. 76, No. 2 The Magazine of Elon is published quarterly for alumni, parents and friends by the Office of University Communications. © 2014, Elon University ED I TO R

Keren Rivas ’04 D E SI G N ER

Garry Graham PH OTO G R A PH ER

Kim Walker ED I TO R I A L S TA FF

Holley Berry Katie DeGraff Philip Jones Roselee Papandrea Eric Townsend S T U D EN T CO N T R I B U TO R S

Natalie Brubaker ’16 Shakori Fletcher ’16 V I C E PR E SI D EN T, U N I V ER SI T Y CO M M U N I C AT I O NS

Daniel J. Anderson

Finance program recognized


lon University’s undergraduate finance program in the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business was accepted into the CFA Institute’s University Recognition Program, an international benchmark granted to fewer than 150 schools worldwide. The world’s largest association of investment professionals recognized the program for its commitment to instilling the highest ethical standards in students with career aspirations of providing financial and investment advice to future clients. The recognition allows Elon to award up to five CFA Program Awareness Scholarships to students each fiscal year. The Love School of Business, which recently earned reaccreditation by AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, ranked #45 this spring on a list of top schools with undergraduate business programs by Bloomberg Businessweek.


The Magazine of Elon 2030 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244-2020 (336) 278-7415

Elon University President Emeritus J. Earl Danieley ’46 during a special Spring Convocation on April 2. To watch a video, visit


Wesley R. Elingburg P’11 Greensboro, N.C.



Christian Wiggins ’03

Charlotte, N.C.


Dave Dziok ’05

Falls Church, Va.


Jill & Josh Baker P’14

Great Falls, Va.



Russell R. Wilson P’86 & P. Scott Moffitt P’14

Burlington, N.C.


David Gergen

Cambridge, Mass.


Brian Williams p’13

New Canaan, Conn.


Michael Radutzky P’12 P’17 Summit, N.J.


William S. Creekmuir p’09 p’10

Atlanta, Ga.


Mike Cross

Burlington, N.C.


“There is no more remarkable story in all the history of American higher education than the growth and development of this institution. ...We have grown. We have developed. We have taken our place on the national scene.”

Mary Savarese, (pictured above) a senior biochemistry major and Elon College Fellow, received the David S. Bruce Outstanding Undergraduate Abstract Award from the American Physiological Society. She presented her research in April at Experimental Biology 2014, an annual meeting of more than 14,000 scientists and exhibitors representing six sponsoring societies and multiple guest societies. Senior information science major Jeff Stern, alongside

other students in his Winter Term “Burst the Bubble” course and the Department of Computing Sciences, hosted the first “Hour of Code” in January. The event brought 130 children and their parents for introductory programming exercises, board games, Legos and other activities that fostered interest in computers and software design. Students from “Elon Local News” and The Pendulum, Elon’s student-run daily news organizations, were named finalists in the Society of Professional Journalists Region

2 Mark of Excellence Awards competition. The Pendulum, its website and ELN also claimed finalist nods. In an unrelated event, senior journalism and religious studies double major and ELN reporter Nicole Chadwick placed sixth in the 2013-14 Hearst Journalism Awards Broadcast News Competition II. Omolayo Ojo, a junior international studies and strategic communications double major, was a finalist for the 2014 Truman Scholarship. The national fellowship, which funds up to

$30,000 for graduate study, is awarded annually to college juniors pursuing careers in education, government, the nonprofit or advocacy sectors, or public service. Students in the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business placed second in the Beta Alpha Psi best practices competition in the area of strategic planning hosted by Deloitte. The Elon team, which included Richard Segal ’15, Kenny Straub ’14 and Matthew Zimpelman ’15, competed against 10 teams.



Ken Hassell’s journey to becoming an art

teacher is anything but ordinary. The associate professor in the Department of Art and Art History dropped out of college to protest the Vietnam War, drove cabs in Chicago and spent a month homeless on the streets of San Francisco. Teaching at Elon for the past 23 years, Hassell’s life is less tumultuous than before, but no less dynamic. “I’m happy to be where I am,” he says. “I’m doing what I want to do and I worked really hard to make that happen.” Admired by his students and colleagues, Hassell has both intellectual prowess and a genuine interest in connecting with people. His quiet confidence reflects his sensitivity toward other people and the wisdom he acquired from life experiences. “I try to be a very compassionate and caring person and I think that’s the most important thing,” he says. Hassell’s high regard for both academia and people is evident in his career at Elon. He advises students working to establish a community center in the Appalachia region. He travels to London to teach a course on immigrant communities every January. And more recently, he captured the attention of students, faculty and staff through his unorthodox art exhibit titled “The Artist is Present,” which consists of Hassell sitting in a chair a few feet across from another chair where participants are invited to sit and look at one another in silence. His interest in art began with a camera passed down to him from his grandmother and developed into a passion that led him to attend the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. At Elon Hassell founded both the photography and digital art programs. And although he will retire in May, he will continue to focus his research on people, understanding their identities and capturing their stories. “I learn a great deal from other people and learn to respect most people,” he says. “I think that’s why I became a teacher. Really, I just like talking with people.” What faculty or staff member do you think is uncommon? Send a suggestion to

spring 2014  5



{ Joel Karty }

Associate Professor of Chemistry Joel Karty has published Organic Chemistry: Principles and Mechanisms, a textbook that reimagines the way organic chemistry should be taught to help students better understand the many complex reactions that define the field of study. The textbook, the only one of its kind on the market, represents a potential resource for the roughly 200,000 college students who take organic chemistry each year at colleges and universities across the United States. A new book by Professor of Physical Therapy Education Charity Johansson and Peter Felten, director of the Center for Engaged Learning, offers a guide to how colleges and universities can effectively lead students through the college experience. Drawn from extensive interviews with Elon students and graduates, faculty and staff, Transforming Students: Fulfilling the Promise of Higher Education addresses Elon’s core educational mission: to shape students into engaged adults who embrace learning as a lifelong endeavor. The book was published by the Johns Hopkins University Press.



he winter weather that brought snow, sleet, high winds and power outages to central North Carolina in early March left its mark on the Elon campus. An oak tree estimated to be more than 100 years old toppled into the roof of Belk Pavilion in the Academic Village—just days before a Founders Day tree planting ceremony was to take place on Phi Beta Kappa Commons just a few yards from that same tree. While it was a shame to lose such a majestic oak, the storm provided a true Elon silver-lining moment. “It’s somehow fitting that we faced some adversity just before the celebration,” Elon President Leo. M. Lambert said in a special message to the community. “That’s part of our history. We are resilient. It’s in our DNA. We persevere.”

Professor of Religious Studies Rebecca Todd Peters has published her second book, Solidarity Ethics: Transformation in a Globalized World, in which she explores the moral challenges of living in a global economy and imagines new ways of combating social injustices by building deeper relationships with those who suffer. Associate Professor of English Drew Perry explores life and fatherhood in his second novel, Kids These Days, which was published this winter. The book spins the tale of a couple who relocate to Florida and find themselves swept into family drama. Professor of History David Crowe has authored a definitive history of war crimes and the evolving legal efforts to bring to justice those who commit such acts of evil. Published this winter by Palgrave Macmillan, War Crimes, Genocide, and Justice continues a legacy of scholarship that includes works about ongoing government-sponsored atrocities, the roots and aftermath of the Holocaust, and German industrialist Oskar Schindler.


{ Before and after photos of the oak tree }




As part of Elon’s Sustainability Master Plan, the university hopes to minimize its impact on the environment by establishing a carbon neutral campus by 2037. Below are several facts related to this effort.


The fiscal year Elon calculated its greenhouse gas or carbon footprint for the first time. That report serves as the baseline for future measurements.


✓ Birthday cake. Check. ✓ Balloons. Check. ✓ Elon gear. Check. ✓ Selfie of Elon’s three living presidents. Check. Getting older never looked better than on March 11, when Elon celebrated its 125th anniversary with a special birthday bash. The festivities kicked off with a twist on an old favorite: a Founders Day College Coffee and tree planting featuring Elon’s three living presidents—J. Earl Danieley ’46, J. Fred Young and Leo M. Lambert. Student Government Association President Welsford Bishopric opened the event, but not before posing with the three presidents for a selfie that became an instant sensation on social media. There were several birthday cakes and even a rendition of “Happy Birthday” by the hundreds of students, alumni, faculty and staff who crowded Phi Beta Kappa Plaza and created a sea of maroon and gold. If that weren’t enough, a quasquicentennial historical exhibit also opened in the Isabella Cannon Room and a new book on Elon’s history, From a Grove of Oaks: The Story of Elon University, was released. University Historian and Professor Emeritus of History George W. Troxler was on hand to autograph copies of the book, which can be ordered through Barnes & Noble at Elon University. The daylong celebration concluded with a special dinner conversation in McKinnon Hall featuring the three presidents, in which they talked frankly about Elon’s development, the challenges they faced and their personal recollections. The celebration coincided with “A Day for Elon”—a call for the Elon community to celebrate the university’s birthday by wearing their maroon and gold, making gifts and spreading the word via social media. Read more about the success of this effort on page 10.

The decrease in emissions per 1,000 square feet of campus building space between FY2008 and 2013.


The percentage of trips commuter students made to campus by biking, walking or carpooling in fall 2012.


The approximate number of homes that can be powered for a year by the amount of electricity Elon students conserved in 11 POWERless competitions (823,166 kWh).


Elon’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System designation (score of 63.42). The program measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education. The threshold to earn a gold rating is 65. Sources: Elon University Office of Sustainability, Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, U.S. Energy Information Administration

spring 2014  7




LIFE TRUSTEES ELECTED Elon’s board of trustees has awarded life trustee status to two longtime board members, Barbara Bass ’61 and James Maynard. Previous life trustees include Wallace Chandler ’49, Dr. James Powell, Warren “Dusty” Rhodes and the late Robert LaRose ’66. A retired math and computer science teacher, Bass has served as a board member since 1985 and was part of the Phi Beta Kappa committee. She and husband Walter ’62 established the Walter H. and Barbara D. Bass Scholarship Fund for students with financial need and high academic achievement. She received Elon’s Distinguished Alumna of the Year Award in 1986. Maynard was awarded Elon’s Frank S. Holt Business Leadership Award in 1997 in recognition of his long business career in the textile industry. He joined the board of trustees in 1985 and has supported Elon alongside wife Joie, establishing scholarship endowments for the Teaching Fellows and Business Fellows programs. Upon the death of his parents, Reid and Grace Maynard, he and his siblings donated their family home, Maynard House, to the university to serve as the residence of Elon’s president. The board also elected outgoing board member Tom Mac Mahon as emeritus trustee. Mac Mahon joined the board of trustees in 2006 and established the Mac Mahon Family Scholarship Fund to provide need-based scholarships for local students. He also made a generous gift to support construction of the Inman Admissions Welcome Center. 8  the MAGAZINE of ELON

GEO 170: Our Spatial World


andora Internet Radio sells targeted ads on the premise that it can predict your political leanings based on music preference and ZIP code. Every time you snap a photo of a vacation sunset or chocolate cheesecake at your favorite restaurant, the coordinates of exactly where you were when the photo was taken are stored by your smartphone. Like it or not, our digital footprint is growing. And there’s no indication that growth will slow anytime soon. What does it all mean? How do we balance the benefits with privacy ABOUT THE PROFESSOR concerns? Assistant Professor of Geography and Ryan Kirk is an assistant professor Environmental Studies Ryan Kirk created a course to of geography and environmental tackle those questions. studies. Since joining Elon in 2008, “Smartphones are ubiquitous. At any time, a he has conducted research on computer knows where you are and keeps a digital the use of spatial technologies record of where you’ve been,” Kirk says. “I wanted to aid environmental and to combine a course that would focus on evolving urban management. He is also spatial technological trends with a discussion of the involved with long-term research social and ethical implications of their use.” in the Elon University Forest In Kirk’s eight-week course, students work with focused on topics such as stream tools such as Google Earth, Global Positioning System, management and forest ecology. location-based services and Geographic Information Systems. They examine the legal issues behind the use of spatial technology and debate, discuss and RECOMMENDED WEBSITES compose reflective essays to sort out their own AND READINGS feelings toward technology that can increasingly Your Brain on Maps, pinpoint their movements and personal preferences. Students are also active participants in several projects that put them front and center in the topics View your own geosocial footprint they discuss. One project requires them to assess all (from the University of Southern of the technologies they and their immediate family California Spatial Sciences use in daily life that track them in some capacity. Institute), Another project, conducted as a class, involves the students tweeting for several weeks using Geospatial Revolution Project, anonymous Twitter accounts (with an opt-in location function) every time they’re in a commercial location such as a restaurant or store. At the conclusion of GPS Declassified: From Smart the project, the class analyzes the data to see what Bombs to Smartphones by Richard assumptions they can make about their demographic D. Easton and Eric F. Frazier group, much as commercial entities do with this kind of data. At the end of the half-semester course, Kirk wants students to have a grasp of emerging spatial technologies and an appreciation for how these technologies are being used and changing society. As technology evolves, so, too, will the course. “It’s critical to me that the issues we work on in class are directly relatable to the way students live their lives,” Kirk says. “I want students to complete this course with a broad understanding of these technologies, but also an increased ability to analyze their relationship with that technology.”


Day with president Keller book?



t was 5 a.m. and Tyrone Davis L’14 was sound asleep in a Hong Kong hotel room when the phone rang. The voice on the other end was Victoria Mills, managing director with the Environmental Defense Fund, or EDF for short, asking if it was a bad time. Though still groggy, he told her it was OK. “That’s when she told me to possibly expect a phone call from the White House,” recalled the Elon Law School senior who was in China as part of a Winter Term course. A week and a half later, Davis found himself at the U.S. Capitol, sitting with First Lady Michelle Obama in the House chamber gallery as President Barack Obama gave the State of the Union address. The invitation came as recognition for Davis’ environmental work, which traces back to his time as a EDF Climate Corps Fellow. “It’s really, really mind-boggling that I am here with all these great people,” Davis said at the time. “I am very honored to be a part of this.” An Elon Law Leadership Fellow, Davis has been legally blind since age 9, though he never let that define him. He obtained a degree in political science and a Master of Public Administration from North Carolina State University. While there he developed an interest in environmental issues and later received an EDF fellowship. In 2010 he was placed at Elizabeth City State University, where he helped the university save more than $31,000 in annual energy costs. During his time at Elon, Davis has worked at Disability Rights of North Carolina in Raleigh, N.C., and Legal Aid of North Carolina in Greensboro, N.C., where he focused on disability law and Medicaid. After graduation, he hopes to use his skills to benefit the environment and make communities safer. “I envision myself doing something with environmental law and policy. I’m not sure exactly what that will be,” he said. “I am keeping the door open to various possibilities. I don’t try to limit myself to one particular thing.”

from the elon archives

A STRONG, COURAGEOUS, BRAVE MAN News in March of the death of Vietnam prisoner of war and former U.S. Sen. Jeremiah Denton P’73 brought back memories of his historical visit to campus 41 years ago as part of Elon’s Founders Day celebration. Denton spent seven years and seven months as a POW in North Vietnam after his plane was shot down in 1965. He was tortured repeatedly and kept in solitary confinement for four years. During his time as a POW in Hanoi, Denton developed a friendship with U.S. Navy Cmdr. Eugene McDaniel ’55. Denton’s son, Jim, was a student at Elon (he served as student body president), and the college became a common topic of conversation between the two men. Jim started a petition his sophomore year to send to officials in Hanoi asking for more humane treatment of American POWs. Jeremiah Denton's plight became personal to the Elon community and when it was announced in February 1973 that he would be among the first prisoners to be released as part of Operation Homecoming, many Elon students stayed up late to catch a glimpse of the man whom his son had described so many times as “strong, courageous, brave.” About a month after his return home, Denton gave a dramatic address and news conference at Elon’s Founders Day ceremony surrounded by thousands of spectators and media outlets. He provided the first public account of the extensive torture U.S. prisioners endured during their captivity. “After seven years separated from my son, Jim, I’m pleased with the obviously favorable influence this college has exerted on his development,” he said at the event. “The mission of Elon and its students is not only educational but it’s the rollback of the forces of evil for the preservation of national and spiritual survival. Elon produces and influences leaders. We need national leaders who have both good minds and a full consciousness that they have souls. “... I think Elon, and other schools similarly dedicated, are the hope of this nation.”

Learn more: See photos and read articles about Denton’s visit to campus at spring 2014  9


Elon community celebrates

“A Day for Elon” Gifts, photographs and messages from well-wishers around the world poured in March 11 as part of “A Day for Elon.” The campaign encouraged alumni, students, parents, faculty, staff and friends to celebrate Elon’s 125th anniversary on Founders Day by wearing maroon and gold gear, making a gift to the university and spreading the word about Elon on social media using the hashtag #ElonDay. The results were impressive:

See more images submitted by students, alumni and friends as part of “A Day for Elon” on page 40.

10  the MAGAZINE of ELON


THANK YOU! Elon is grateful to the following donors for their generous gifts to benefit university priorities.


Elon trustee Kerrii Brown Anderson ’79 pledged $100,000 to support Elon’s transition to the Colonial Athletic Association in 2014-15. Anderson has been a loyal supporter of Elon in the past, matching 5-to-1 gifts made by young alumni during a three-year Ignite Challenge as well as creating the Kerrii Brown Anderson Endowed Scholarship for female students with financial need.

{ Jackie Gardner Allred ’94 }



ackie Gardner Allred ’94 had little idea what an impact Elon would have on her life when she first learned about the college as a high school junior. A connection that began when the Massachusetts native received a postcard from an unfamiliar school in the South has since blossomed into a lifelong passion. That pride for her alma mater was on full display on March 11, as the university celebrated its 125th birthday. Allred joined thousands of supporters around the globe who participated in “A Day for Elon,” a campaign that called for the university community to celebrate the occasion by wearing Elon gear, making a gift and spreading the word to others. The response to the campaign was tremendous, with more than 1,000 donors making gifts to the university and social media activity launching Elon to a national top 10 trending topic on Twitter. “It was such a milestone for Elon,” says Allred, who now lives in Burlington, N.C. “I thought it was so important for alumni to get involved that day and share their thanks for how much they appreciate Elon.” Allred hopes the momentum built during the campaign will continue to grow and that alumni will take an active role in supporting the university year-round. She serves as a member of the class

of 1994’s 20th reunion committee, and she and her family are also avid Phoenix fans, frequently attending games and supporting scholarships for student-athletes by making annual contributions to the Phoenix Club. This makes her a member of The 1889 Society, which recognizes alumni donors for their annual support. “I support the athletics department because it meant so much to me when I was there,” says Allred, who served as a student manager of the football team. “Being a long way from home, the football team really was my family.” Allred is also inspired to give back by the progress and growth that has taken place on campus. “When I was there, our football team was playing at a high school,” Allred says. “Through the support of donations, we were able to move the team back to Elon. It’s important to me to continue to support those types of efforts and show how great Elon is.” Although the campus has changed physically, Allred still feels the connection that led her to Elon as a junior in high school. “One of the things that attracted me to Elon was that it had that small feel while still giving students so many opportunities,” Allred says. “To this day, I love that Elon has maintained that family atmosphere.”

Josh and Jill Baker P’14, co-presidents of the Elon University Parents Council, have made three gifts to support students with financial need who pursue international or domestic study experiences. Through a five-year pledge, they will fund the Josh and Jill Baker Global Education Scholarship. They will also contribute annual gifts to enable Elon to award the scholarship until it is fully endowed, and have established a planned gift to benefit the scholarship in the future. Elon parents William and Catherine O’Keefe P’16 have made a $100,000 commitment to support construction of Scott Studios, a new performance and rehearsal facility for Elon’s Department of Performing Arts. They have also supported the university’s annual fund.


about how you can join Elon’s vibrant alumni network as a partner, advocate and investor at and

spring 2014  11



{ Miles Williams ‘15, fourth from the left in the front row, was honored as part of the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team at the Sugar Bowl in January. }


Meet Miles Williams. On the field, the junior defensive back is a dominant force on game days and a leader in the locker room. On campus the human service studies major and African & African-American studies and psychology double minor is consistently recognized for academic achievement. If that weren’t enough, Williams has been involved in community service for as long as he can remember, and he says helping others is his No. 1 priority. “My parents were a big influence in terms of making sure we gave back,” he says. “My sister and I would go to the soup kitchen to volunteer and also we would donate clothes and collect cans through church, and that really became something we did as a family. Then

12  the MAGAZINE of ELON

I decided to start doing things on my own as I got older.” That passion for service has not gone unnoticed. In the fall, he was one of 22 players nationwide named to the 2013 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, one of college football’s most prestigious off-the-field honors. Selection is based on character, leadership, good academic standing and contributions to the greater good. The last Elon student-athlete to claim the honor was Shanard Smith in 2000. Teammate Akeem Langham says Williams’ national recognition positively impacts the team as a whole. “Guys were happy for him, excited, and glad that a member of our team was able to win an award like that,” the senior says. “I think seeing Miles put forth that effort definitely had a positive impact on guys wanting to be involved with community service.”

For Williams, awards are not what drive him to excel both on and off the field. “I’m not all about the accolades. I’m going to serve regardless of whether I’m recognized for it or not,” he says. “Before and after the award, I’m still going to serve; I’m just glad I could glorify Christ and represent the university, my family and my teammates well.” As a first-year student at Elon, Williams spent a lot of time mentoring and tutoring at the Positive Attitude Youth Center in Burlington, N.C., along with other students from his Introduction to Human Service Studies course. “The kids really had an impact on my life and made me want to do more, so that summer I served as a camp counselor at the YMCA and worked with some of the same kids from the center,” he says. “We have to be here anyway during the summer, so it worked out perfectly.” While he loves playing football, his involvement with children from the youth center, Boys & Girls Club and Elon First Baptist Church has led him to a career goal—to open an inner city school for disadvantaged youth. “Mentoring the kids and seeing how much they struggle with some of the reading and writing, and knowing how much of an equalizer education is, this is something I really want to go into,” he says. “It’s going to take a lot of patience and a lot of hard work. I plan on going to grad school in education administration and figuring out exactly how to make that happen.”


Preparing for the transition


n 1999 Elon completed the transition to NCAA Division I athletics as a member of the Big South Conference. In 2004 the Phoenix joined the Southern Conference and this fall, the university will make another big move when it joins the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA for short). Dave Blank, director of athletics, talked with The Magazine of Elon about preparations and changes fans can expect.

What is the university doing to prepare for the transition to the CAA? The first thing we did was address recruiting strategies with our coaches. In addition the communications team began marketing efforts this spring to educate our fans about the transition and the teams against which we will be competing. Our fundraising goals will also become even more important and the Phoenix Club will be active in the CAA markets.

How are Elon athletes and coaches feeling about the upcoming transition? Our student-athletes see the CAA as a high level of competition and are really excited about who their new competition will be. Feedback from the coaches has been very positive as well. They understand the challenges and want to make sure we are financially ready and that we minimize how often athletes miss class while competing for championships in our new league.

In which cities will Phoenix teams compete next year? We’re really excited to compete on the East Coast on a more regular basis and it all starts in September with our fall sports. We will be visiting Boston, New York, Philadelphia and the Baltimore/Washington, D.C., area. Keep an eye out this summer for information about events at away games. We’ll also still have the chance to compete close to home against schools like UNC-Wilmington, College of Charleston and William & Mary.

Most full-time members of the CAA are located farther away than members of the SoCon. How will this affect both studentathletes and Elon’s fan base? We will be flying to games more often rather than taking bus trips. The great thing is, we are going into areas where we already have great alumni and parent networks and we expect that to translate into a strong fan base. Since an overwhelming number of Elon student-athletes hail from CAA cities and surrounding areas, they’ll have the chance to


compete closer to home. We also plan to create opportunities for our local fans to travel to see our teams compete in these new markets. The CAA provides extensive media coverage. How will Elon adapt? We hope to provide more live Web streaming with the launch of the CAA Digital Network. In addition more games will be televised here in the Carolinas and throughout the Eastern Seaboard given the CAA’s contract with Comcast and NBC Sports. What major changes can Elon fans expect to see from the move to the CAA? We expect new partnerships in terms of the different schools we compete with, a national appeal relative to our media coverage and a sense of a higher level of competition. The type of heightened atmosphere that has happened when Elon plays Appalachian State in football or Davidson in basketball is the type of atmosphere we anticipate will happen at many more CAA contests.

Kickin’ It With Colie Teammates and coaches of a star Phoenix women’s soccer player have raised more than $35,000 to assist the sophomore and her family as she seeks cancer treatment. Nicole “Colie” Dennion, the fall Southern Conference Player of the Year, was diagnosed this winter with Ewing’s sarcoma, a cancer that affects bone or the soft tissue surrounding bone. She has withdrawn from classes and returned home to New Jersey for medical care. Friends, led by women’s soccer head coach Chris Neal, started a fundraiser to assist with medical expenses. The effort, dubbed “Kickin’ It With Colie!,” spread through social media and has already surpassed the initial goal of $20,000. For more on the campaign, visit

HISTORIC WIN The Elon women’s lacrosse team claimed its first win in program history with a 16-7 victory over Saint Francis during its first home game on March 1 at Rhodes Stadium. The team is competing in its inaugural season under head coach Josh Hexter and assistant coach Virginia Crotty. spring 2014  13


{ Niclas Stiernholm ’89 is determined to find a way to kill cancer stem cells. }

MEDICINE MAN An immunologist-turned-businessman, Niclas Stiernholm ’89 is at the helm of a Canadian biopharmaceutical company making advances in the fight against cancer. BY ERIC TOWNSEND


or the better part of the past century, doctors have treated cancer with chemotherapy drugs, localized radiation or a combination of the two. Sometimes malignant tumors disappear. Sometimes they shrink to a size where surgical removal is an option to keep the disease from spreading. But cancer possesses certain resilience. Each year many thousands of people discover a new lump, can’t shake a recurring headache or begin to cough blood as they once again confront a demon they believed banished. Earlier treatments simply didn’t snare all of the original cancer. “Original,” it turns out, is just another word for “cancer stem cells,” and that is where Niclas Stiernholm ’89 has found his life’s calling. As chief executive officer of Stem Cell Therapeutics, a Canadian biopharmaceutical firm that raised $33 million late last year when it went public on the Toronto Stock Exchange, Stiernholm is leading a small team of researchers about to begin clinical trials of a therapy that has shown remarkable laboratory success in killing cancer stem cells for acute myeloid leukemia. The implications extend far beyond leukemia. For a company whose earlier focus was on immunotherapy treatments to fight multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, the move into cancer research is making Stem Cell Therapeutics and Stiernholm a recognized name in biomedical research, and for all the right reasons. “Though we’ve seen excellent progress in treatments for breast cancer and melanoma and some pediatric cancers in recent years, others like leukemia and ovarian cancer are still out there, needing much more progressive treatments,” says Michael Moore, a member of the board of directors of Stem Cell Therapeutics. “Nic feels totally committed to that ... and it shines out as one of his most endearing attributes.”

photos by: Kevin Van Paassen


Stiernholm moved to the United States from Sweden in the early 1980s as a high school exchange student. After a year in rural Minnesota, he mailed dozens of query letters to American universities that fielded tennis teams, hoping his athleticism would help pay for a college degree. Elon was one of the few schools whose response not only offered him a spot on the team but also acknowledged academic opportunities for its varsity athletes. A lackluster freshman tennis season, coupled with coaching changes and family issues, briefly took Stiernholm back to Sweden Spring 2014  15

to fulfill mandatory military service. Two years later and determined to earn a degree, Stiernholm found help from a few former professors who cobbled together academic scholarships that returned him to Elon,

where he competed again in tennis as a walkon while eyeing medical school. His work ethic wowed his mentors. “In the classroom, I had to really be on my toes for this guy. He could ask me questions that I had better be ready to answer,” says David Sissom, Stiernholm’s former Elon biology professor who today teaches at West Texas A&M University. “One of the things that was impressive about Nic was that even at that level he was reading academic journals. He wasn’t just relying on what you could give him in a textbook or a lecture.” Other students took note, too. “Most of us, we all managed to graduate one way or another,” said George Pastidis ’89, an international student from Greece who befriended Stiernholm at Elon. “But Nic was different. … He knew what he wanted and he wouldn’t take less.” Stiernholm graduated summa cum laude with a biology degree but dropped the idea of medical school. Sick people? Not his thing. What piqued his interest was immunology. He moved to Canada to pursue his doctorate at the University of Toronto, met his wife, welcomed two daughters and after a few years, concluded laboratory research wasn’t his calling, either. The commercial applications of science were more aligned with his passions. With no business background, Stiernholm got creative. Upon graduating from the University of Toronto and conducting post-doctoral research, he spent the next six months offering expert opinions at no charge to biotechnology venture capital firms weighing investment opportunities. “That allowed me to say I was a ‘consultant’ to these 16  the MAGAZINE of ELON

groups,” he says with a laugh. “No one had to know I did it for free. It was resume padding but it was legit.” So legit, in fact, that it landed him his first position in the business development office of Allelix Biopharmaceuticals. “He really understood the science, and that enabled him very quickly to sort out the wheat from the chaff,” Graham Strachan, a former chief executive officer of Allelix, says. “There’s a lot of science out there that’s very interesting and very good, but it’s not going to lead anywhere, at least not to a commercial goal. Nic’s background enabled him to sort out what was practical from what was simply academically curious and interesting, and he picked up the tools for commercially developing science.” Over the next decade, Stiernholm steadily assumed additional business responsibilities, first at Allelix and later for the Canada-based YM BioSciences. In 2002 he joined Trillium Therapeutics as ceo, a position he held until Trillium merged with Stem Cell Therapeutics last year with the purpose of going public. Stiernholm remains in charge of the newly expanded company.


Times had been tight until the success of the financing in December. Flush with cash and no longer reliant on revenues from selling some of their best technologies too early, Stiernholm and Stem Cell Therapeutics are pushing forward with clinical trials of a treatment that disrupts the very cells that dodge the body’s natural ability to fully fend off cancer. “Cancer cells are pretty smart. They can learn how to evade the immune system by producing immunosuppressive proteins,” Stiernholm explains. “We’re looking to identify and target various substances that cancer cells produce to hide themselves from the immune system.” One such substance is called CD47, which is produced by cancer cells, including cancer stem cells, to protect themselves from the patient’s own immune system. Stiernholm’s company has engineered a promising new protein that binds to CD47 and blocks its ability to send immuno suppressive signals, thereby allowing the patient’s own immune system to re-activate and destroy the cancer cells. “He recognizes that medical need and

commercial opportunity really overlap,” says Moore, Stem Cell Therapeutics board member. “His commitment to bioscience is not just to get rich, which is what everybody in business tries to do, but also to ameliorate human suffering.” wo more traits Stiernholm’s friends and colleagues mention time and again are his love of family and genuine interest in other people. Strachan applauds the way Stiernholm balances his work and home lives. Moore credits Stiernholm with building and preserving a strong research team that has seen almost no turnover in recent years, a steadiness that is leading the company in a very promising direction. Which brings Stiernholm’s success back to his Elon education. It took a few years to recognize how his liberal arts exposure influenced his future success, but talk with him today, and Stiernholm lists how religious studies and sociology courses help him build relationships—with other potential investors, he points out—in ways that other corporate executives don’t always grasp. When you have to relate to and interact with people you’ve never met before, he says, you need to find common ground. His alma mater has taken note. The university honored Stiernholm in 2012 with the Elon College Distinguished Alumni Award in the Mathematical, Computing and Natural Sciences. His visit to campus to accept the award was his first in more than two decades, and he still marvels at the changes from his days studying science in a cramped Duke building. “The biggest thing to happen to Elon when I was there was the new tennis center,” he laughs. “Now, Elon’s huge, and it has changed from a college to a university.” Part scientist and part entrepreneur, Stiernholm recognizes that in biopharmaceuticals, mergers and acquisitions are part of the business. There may reach a point in the next decade where Stem Cell Therapeutics is bought by a larger rival, and if so, what happens next in life is anyone’s guess. But he does know how to spot business opportunities, even if he hasn’t made any long-term plans. “It’s a great time for science right now with the genomics revolution,” he says. “We are generating more than we can currently translate. Bioinformatics is really the bottleneck—too much data and too few resources to translate it. It’s in the eventual translation of these genetic data where new therapeutic and diagnostic opportunities will exist.” For Stiernholm, the future is bright. For cancer? Perhaps not.


FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE Get a behind-the-scenes look at this year’s Sochi Winter Olympics through the eyes of two Elon alumni and an assistant professor who covered the event. BY PHILIP JONES


or more than two weeks in February, the world turned its attention to a seaside town in Russia for the XXII Olympic Winter Games. As an estimated 2,800 athletes spent 16 days in the spotlight in Sochi, two Elon alumni and an assistant professor in the university’s School of Communications played vital roles on teams of their own. If you watched the television coverage of the Olympics, caught a recap online or spotted a photo in a newspaper, chances are you saw and enjoyed their hard work without even knowing it. While their jobs were all very different, there’s one thing they shared: long work days. Think 14-18 hours a day for more than two weeks. Now that they have returned home, we’ve asked Angie Lovelace Walton ’10, Sean Flynn ’09 and Max Negin, who previously worked at the games in London, Vancouver and Beijing, to share the highs and lows of their Olympics experiences.

{Angie Lovelace Walton ’10}

ANGIE LOVELACE WALTON ’10 Job description: Photo editor for USA TODAY


Primary location: The Rosa Khutor moun-

tain cluster (where events such as skiing, snowboarding and bobsled took place) Typical day: From the first morning event until the last night event, I was in the office editing photos that were being transmitted in real time from our photographers at the various mountain venues. Other than occasional visits to the venues, I saw the Olympics through photographs and live television feeds. Once I received the photos, I edited to determine which ones would be distributed, captioned [them], did minor color and cropping edits and then distributed to clients. How would you describe Sochi?

The most surprising aspect of the trip was just how warm it was for a Winter Olympics. The temperature hovered around 50 degrees some days and this presented a problem for many of the venues. Some cross-country athletes competed in shorts as the course below their skis was melted. We had one day of snow toward the end of the games that in my mind really prevented a very difficult situation for the winter venues. Was Sochi prepared? Were stray dogs and half-built hotel rooms really that big a deal?

For the most part, Sochi was prepared for the Olympics. There were a lot of stories that portrayed facilities that were falling apart

or weren’t ready, but there wasn’t a lot of reporting on the things that were complete. I stayed in a hotel that was already built as part of the Rosa Khutor Alpine Resort, so I did not encounter any issues. As a dog lover, the Sochi stray dogs just broke my heart. The family of dogs American freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy brought home were living outside of the press center where I worked, so I would see them every day. What will be the enduring memory from your experience in Sochi?

After all our work was done, I stayed in Sochi for one day after the Games. On my final day there, I had the opportunity to take a cable car up to the very top of the alpine course. I was at the top of the highest mountain and the view was just breathtaking. It was amazing to me to be on top of this beautiful mountain range and take in the magnitude of God’s stunning creation. In that moment I really understood why Sochi was given the Winter Olympics. ▶ Of the thousands of photos she saw while in Sochi, which was Walton’s favorite? See the stunning shot at

SEAN FLYNN ’09 Job description: Account supervisor for

Ketchum Public Relations (managed global media relations on behalf of Procter & Gamble’s “Thank You, Mom” campaign) Primary location: The P&G Family Home, a space within Olympic Park that hosted 11,000 moms, athletes, guests and media to get a little taste of home while they were abroad Typical day: There was no “typical” day, which is why the Games and media relations are so fun. Some days we would host a “medal ceremony” in which athletes would visit the home and present their moms with their Olympic medals to say “thank you!” for the support. Other days we would host National Olympic Committees for luncheons. It was not uncommon to do media tours with Korean athletes, Swedish moms and USA legends all in a single day. How would you describe Sochi?

Sochi was fantastic. The Russians were such gracious hosts and really seemed proud to have the Games in their hometown. Sochi is actually a beautiful resort town right on the Black Sea, so at times it would be 60 degrees while my friends and family back in NYC were dealing with single-digit temperatures. Sochi is more than 1,000 miles from Moscow so it was not how Russia is often portrayed in movies. It was closer to a

{ NBC’s editing room at Sochi }

Mediterranean vibe. The sun was shining, the beach was beautiful and the food was typically lamb kebabs, not borscht.

When you see the situation in Crimea in the news and compare the Russia that’s making headlines to the Russian people and places you so recently encountered, what comes to mind?

It is a reminder that sport is a universal language. All these countries came to Russia to compete against each other, but ultimately we came closer together as people for a few weeks. It’s the Olympic spirit. I never experienced any negativity toward or from the Russian people while in Sochi.

It was my responsibility to make sure the completed, edited elements were delivered to the control rooms for playback. I also trained interns and other members of the production team on operation and workflow. Finally, I was on hand to troubleshoot a variety of issues that might crop up (a missing feed or delivering a finished edited piece under a time constraint).

What’s the best untold story or hidden gem to come out of your time in Sochi?

One of my favorite Sochi memories was finding a karaoke bar and discovering that, despite a language barrier, nearly everyone in Sochi knows and loves the 1999 hit “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys. ▶ What’s the most awesome thing Flynn saw in Sochi? A Swedish cross-country skier presenting her silver medal to her mom. The emotional moment was caught on video and you can see it at

Was Sochi prepared? Were stray dogs and half-built hotel rooms really that big a deal?



MAX NEGIN Job description: Assistant professor of com-

munications in Elon University’s School of Communications; digital media manager for NBC Olympics Primary location: International Broadcast Center Typical day: I helped to develop a workflow of getting clips of events and a variety of feeds from venues and various sources into the system so folks could edit packages, commercials and other elements for NBC.

As far as the Olympics were concerned, yes, everything was prepared. The venues and the Olympic Park were done. But the surrounding areas were really rough. The bus stop in front of my hotel is an example. When we first arrived, the bus stop was just the frame. Then about a week later, the roof appeared. Then a few days later, the bench and a few days after that, a sign about where you get from that stop. The International Broadcast Center was a little rough, but in the three previous Olympics I have worked, that was kind of par for the course. However, the overall feel was that things were being worked on and built under your feet as you walked around. For example, piles of metal for HVAC systems, patches of dirt that should have had grass, areas of debris from construction and, yes, several dogs roaming around.

What’s the best untold story or hidden gem to come out of your time in Sochi?

I’m not sure how hidden it was, but I enjoyed when Matt Lauer asked if Bob Costas was going to take the “red-eye” home from Sochi. What will be the enduring memory from your experience in Sochi?

The most enduring memory of working this Olympics was being able to be behind the scenes of NBC and see all the moving parts that go into putting the Olympics on multiple television networks as well as the Web. To have a fully functioning national studio set up and operating without any huge hitches was an amazing achievement. Without exception, NBC brought the brightest and most talented people from all over the U.S. and the world to produce so much content. I felt blessed that I could be inside the machine and could observe and ask questions of people who were at the top of their game. From directors and talent to graphic artists and producers, the access I had allowed me to bring knowledge and experience back to Elon to share with students and colleagues. ▶ Negin, Walton and Flynn had a whole lot more to say about their time in Sochi. Read more and see their photographs at

{ International Broadcast Center’s headquarters }

SPRING 2014  19

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be difficult, particularly for children. But thanks to Elon community partnerships, the decision to be healthy is getting easier. BY ROSELEE PAPANDREA

{ Olivia Lee, 12, stays active playing multiple sports. }

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ennifer Lee was in the seventh grade when her body started changing. Puberty does that, but it was more than just raging hormones. Although an avid athlete, Lee was about 13 when she started to carry some extra weight on her frame. She was able to shed those pounds when she was 18 and kept it off for most of her life, despite heredity. When she became a mother, she hoped her children wouldn’t face the same childhood struggle. She and her husband played sports through college and remain very active. It was a given that their three children would play sports, too. Lee hoped it would be enough to alter whatever role family traits might play in their size. But the signs that Olivia, her second child, might follow in her footsteps were there early on. As an infant, Olivia was a colicky baby. “She would cry and I would feed her a lot because I thought she was hungry,” says Lee, who noticed her daughter seemed to have a healthier appetite than her older sister. The sisters also had different body types. While both girls were kept busy in sports and activities, her sister, who is four years older, could eat high-calorie foods without consequence—in fact, she spent most her childhood underweight—but Olivia’s metabolism was different. From the beginning, she was on the heavier side of healthy on the growth chart, but it was never a problem. “Her weight didn’t fluctuate much,” Lee says. From the pediatrician’s perspective, even though she was a little heavier than some kids her age, Olivia was growing and gaining weight at a healthy rate. She was in the third grade when her proportions started changing. Olivia was an active little girl and ate healthy homemade meals most of the time, but she sometimes had more than one portion, and if given the choice she picked M&Ms or cookies over healthier snacks. “I was making bad food choices and eating a lot of candy and junk,” says Olivia, now 12. “It got really bad.” Lee worried that Olivia might be destined for a lifetime of health and social struggles if, as a concerned mom, she didn’t keep her on track. “Weight plays such a big part in your life,” says Lee, who knows from experience that people feel better mentally and physically when they maintain a healthy weight. Her concerns weren’t

unwarranted. In Alamance County, N.C., where they live, one in three children is at risk of becoming overweight, and overweight and obese children are more likely to become obese adolescents and adults. Helping children navigate the slippery slope that is a weight problem can be tough. “It’s a very fine line,” says Elizabeth Bailey, a lecturer in the health and human performance department. She runs several community programs at Elon University targeted at helping youngsters maintain a healthy lifestyle—an approach experts say is the most effective way to address childhood obesity. Olivia has participated in two of the programs. “If we concentrate less on weight and more on behavior, we get better results. If we can keep kids active and making good choices most of the time, we might be able to prevent them from having health issues later on.” Tackling childhood obesity also is complex. Obese children and adolescents have a greater risk of social and psychological problems, such as discrimination and poor self-esteem, and once obese, it is much more difficult to lose weight. Placing children on strict diets or signing them up for programs alone won’t resolve the issue. Access to healthy foods and physical activities is essential. Bad habits have to be replaced with better ones, and all of it—food choices, activities


17% 15% 10% 5%





Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

SPRING 2014  21

“If we concentrate less on weight and more on behavior, we get better results.” Elizabeth Bailey, lecturer in the health and human performance department and attitudes—needs to be reinforced by the adults in a child’s life. If parents aren’t on board and modeling healthy habits themselves, it’s difficult to stave off what can result in a lifetime of struggles, from chronic illnesses to relationship problems to low self-esteem. “Losing weight is really, really hard,” Bailey says. “We want children to have good behaviors so they can remain healthy, regardless of weight.” Two of Bailey’s programs are aimed at children in fourth and fifth grades. Alamance Girls in Motion started in 2006 and a similar program for boys, Coaching Health and Mentoring Positive Students (CHAMPS for short), started four years later. They both are funded by grants and use group activities as well as one-on-one mentorships to provide education about the benefits of healthy choices. In addition sports and fitness skills are taught as a way of increasing self-esteem and encouraging kids to be more active. Some of the children who participate in the programs might be overweight, but the goal isn’t about weight loss. It is about promoting a healthy lifestyle and good habits that all children can benefit from. “We are not focusing on weight,” Bailey says. “We are focusing on behavior.” For Olivia that would mean changing habits like eating French fries with chicken fingers and limiting sugary snacks.



ocal, state and national statistics regarding obesity are startling. In the United States, about 17 percent or 12.5 million children and adolescents are considered obese. Those extra pounds can result in a host of health issues, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type II diabetes, heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, arthritis, sleep apnea and certain types of cancers. But harping on a child’s weight is risky. “The concern is if children think they are overweight, they will move in the direction of an eating disorder,” Bailey

22  the MAGAZINE of ELON

says. “As obesity increases, we see issues with that as well. There is an overreaction.” Bailey’s programs, including the one that Olivia participated in this year, Girls to Empowered Teens, focus on children entering puberty. “That age is particularly vulnerable,” Bailey says. “We try to tell them there is no one set type of body. Their bodies are maturing differently. Some are still very thin at that age. Others are already maturing and starting to store fat and get curves. It’s a little confusing. They are wondering, ‘What am I supposed to look like?’” Struggles with weight are not limited to girls. In Alamance County, there are more overweight girls, but obesity is more prevalent among boys. “If boys don’t develop a habit of being physically active and an understanding of what their bodies can do at a young age, they tend to do less as they grow older,” Bailey says. A lack of sports skills also can intimidate boys and keep them from exercising. Giving young boys a foundation in those skills to instill confidence and keep them active is the premise behind CHAMPS and the idea of T.J. Douglas ’10, a former Elon basketball player. Members of varsity and club sports teams provide skills training in various sports during the four-week program. In addition to getting essential exercise, the boys also learn about the benefits of physical activity, fueling the body, dealing with peer pressure and bullying. Some boys are exposed to sports they wouldn’t have played prior to participating in the program. One boy played lacrosse in middle school because of the skills he was taught in CHAMPS. Another participant had the confidence to try out for basketball—a risk he wouldn’t have taken if not for the program, Bailey says. By focusing on behavior and other positive attributes, participants in all of Bailey’s programs are urged to accept themselves at any size. About 500 children have participated to date. “We try to encourage them during physical activities, and we do give them a lot of positive reinforcement,” Bailey says. “We spend a lot of time on their best

traits. We ask them what people might not know about them just by looking at them.” Another key piece of the program is the orientation session for parents and regular emails containing details about each session’s lessons so positive messages can be followed up. “If the child does make good changes, it’s the parent who is going to have to reinforce it and help them make good decisions,” Bailey says. The mentorship component in each of the three programs also has made an impact. Male and female Elon students are matched with children based on questionnaires both the students and the children fill out. “They connect with their mentors,” Bailey says. “I think that is very, very powerful.”



flyer about the Alamance Girls In Motion program arrived home from school in Olivia’s backpack when she was in fourth grade. Lee thought the description of the eight-week program, especially the one-on-one mentoring, was a good fit. Initially, Olivia was unsure about it all. Already enduring some teasing about her size, she worried it would get worse if other kids knew she was attending Alamance Girls In Motion. “I thought people were going to judge me and say, ‘You’re so fat that you have to go to a special program,’” she recalls. It turned out to be exactly what she needed. The straight-A student attended Alamance Girls In Motion for two years and this fall, as a sixth-grader, started Girls to Empowered Teens. She also plays tennis, softball, volleyball, basketball and is a cheerleader at Blessed Sacrament Catholic School in Burlington, N.C. Olivia is matter-of-fact about the program’s impact. It boosted her self-confidence and she learned how to keep a food diary. Regardless of what she wrote down on those pages, which were shared with her mentor, Caroline Leonard ’16, she never felt judged. “She really knew me,” Olivia says. “No matter what I did, she would encourage me. She was like an older sister you’d see every week. We would talk about everything. I could tell her pretty much everything.” The small group discussions and activities with other girls facing similar struggles started changing her self-image. She found a place, for the first time, where she felt like she fit in. Kylee Bushway ’14, who was a mentor for Alamance Girls In Motion and worked with

Bailey to start the teen program in fall 2012, saw the growth of several youngsters, like Olivia, firsthand. “I’ve had the privilege of seeing some of these girls come from fourth to seventh grade,” Bushway says. “You can just see the difference between them and first-time participants. They are confident, healthy and playing sports.” The Lees found out that even though they were mindful of Olivia’s childhood challenges, budding adolescence brought a few more surprises. In spite of some improvements, last summer Olivia’s weight changed slightly and moved to the higher end of what is considered healthy and her moods started fluctuating. She didn’t want to be as active and stopped going to the pool. Her mother attributed the changes to becoming a teenager. After a long talk with the pediatrician, Lee opted to send Olivia to a nutritionist in addition to the Girls to Empowered Teens program. The nutritionist reinforced the importance of exercise, making healthier food choices and portion control and explained that Olivia had to start making her

own decisions about her health. “The nutritionist said we were on course and doing the right thing, but Olivia was at an age where she had to take responsibility and make some choices that no one else could make for her,” Lee says. “That’s hard at her age.” Since the summer, Olivia has grown 7 inches taller and her shoe size went from a child’s 5 to an adult size 9. In February Olivia was at the healthiest weight for her height since birth. Beyond the physical, there have been other notable changes. She makes better food choices. She’s eating fewer snacks. She prefers salad with her chicken fingers rather than French fries and once the nutritionist suggested she leave the table for 20 minutes to see if she is still hungry after eating only one portion, Olivia never comes back for seconds. Olivia is one of several successes in Bailey’s programs. A small study done with parents of girls who participated in Alamance Girls In Motion showed children were making better decisions about food and were more active after participation in the program. There have been other positive

FORGING COMMUNITY D uring the past decade, Elon University has developed several community partnerships in east Burlington, N.C., a lower-income area of Alamance County, that focus on improving access to affordable nutritious food and recreational activities.

▶▶ Beth and Bud Warner, associate professors of human service studies, have spent the last eight years writing grants and working with the City of Burlington to make changes at the Mayco Bigelow Community Center and North Park to create a safe place to exercise and participate in healthy activities. Additional lighting, a dance program for girls, improved picnic areas and extended pool hours are among the changes. ▶▶ The Warners, along with Healthy Alamance director April Durr ’01, who majored in human service studies at Elon, served on the North Park in Motion committee that was instrumental in starting a farmer’s market in that area.

changes as well. “In almost every session, we see in girls that there is a decrease in the desire for thinness as well as changes in body dissatisfaction and social physique anxiety,” Bailey says. If given a choice, Olivia would rather read than exercise. She prefers art over adventure but understands her body a lot better now and knows what is required to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Leonard helped her perfect a back handspring for cheerleading. She encouraged her to believe in herself and seemed to understand the complexities of a sixth-grader’s struggle with body image, even when Olivia thought her feelings were hers to bear alone. Less than a year ago, Olivia’s self-confidence wavered, but she is beginning to feel more comfortable in her own skin. She makes better decisions and is satisfied with who she is becoming. “I do like myself now,” she says and aspires to attend Elon one day. If given the chance, she hopes she can help a young a girl in a similar situation. “If I end up going to Elon, I want to sign up to be a mentor.”

PARTNERSHIPS ▶▶ Last year Lauren Clapp ’13, a human service studies and public health double major, under the guidance of mentor Beth Warner, focused her Elon College Fellows final project on creating a community garden at the park. ▶▶ This spring students in Beth Warner’s class, Designing and Evaluating Human Service Programs, wrote a grant funded by the Learning by Giving Foundation, which provides $5,000 to Elon per semester. The grant will fund a coordinator at the community garden in the summer to ensure activities are planned and the garden is maintained. ▶▶ Students in Sandra Reid’s human service studies class, Introduction to Human Service Studies: The Art and Science of Helping People, earn an experiential learning credit by working with children in the Positive Attitude Youth Center’s after-school program. The students create lesson plans to introduce healthy habits, prepare nutritious snacks and keep the youngsters moving through structured activities. ▶▶ Third- through fifth-graders at R. Homer Andrews Elementary School were selected to participate in the “100 Mile Program” this year. The goal of the program, which is funded with a grant that Elizabeth Bailey, a lecturer in health and human performance, secured, is to get all the children walking or running 100 miles each by the end of the school year.

SPRING 2014  23


When Toorialey Fazly ’14 left Afghanistan in 2010 to come to Elon, he was expecting the experience to be uneventful. What he found instead transformed his life. BY KEREN RIVAS ’04


he sounds of rocket-propelled grenades and automatic rifles were commonplace for Toorialey Fazly. Throughout his life, the land he called home had been torn by violence, first due to a Soviet invasion that lasted almost a decade and later by a brutal civil war caused by local warlords hungry for power, which led to a NATO and U.S. intervention in 2001. It was a reality most Afghans could not escape, and one that took some time for Fazly to leave behind, even when he was thousands of miles away in a small American town attending university. There were nights during those first transition days when the smallest of sounds woke him up. He would listen quietly, ready to grab the knife he kept next to his pillow at his off-campus apartment. It was the only weapon he had. It was the environment he was raised in. But that was four years ago. Dozens of eye-opening experiences later, Fazly is getting ready for a new life after college. He graduates in May with degrees in economics and international studies (with a concentration 24  the MAGAZINE of ELON

in the Middle East) and a new perspective on life. For what started as just a college stint became a life journey that has touched him—and those around him—in unexpected ways. “If I summarize all my four years in a few words, I was living in a paradise,” Fazly says in a confident English that still contains the traces of an accent. “It might sound like an exaggeration, but from what I’ve lived with, these four years have been about education—and a paradise.” ✹ ✹ ✹ Despite all the uncertainties that surrounded him throughout his life, Fazly never let fear define him. On the contrary, he has defied it all his life. He defied it after his father fell sick when he was only 17 years old, forcing him to become the provider for his mother and younger siblings. He defied it when he left behind everything that was familiar for a chance to gain an education in the United States and then again once here, when a

freak accident almost took his life. “There is one philosophy that helps me with every problem in life,” Fazly says. “If I face a problem, I tell myself, ‘This is not the end of the world, this is not the dark night that you are living. Tomorrow there will be a bright day for you. Just be patient.’” He never doubted that one day he would attend an American university. In fact, he had been working for that opportunity since an early age, though it didn’t come easy. After the death of his father, Rahmuddin, Fazly considered leaving school to start

{ Left: Toorialey Fazly ‘14 with his mother, Raqiba, and brother, Sohail. Above: Fazly surrounded by some of the members of the Elon community who have made his time at Elon special. }

working, something his mother, Raqiba, wouldn’t allow. “It doesn’t matter how much we suffer, I don’t want you to leave learning, leave school,” he remembers her telling him. “Finish your education; education is key.” And so he divided his time between school and work. He attended classes until noon and worked the rest of the day doing whatever was available—sorting almonds, painting houses. Throughout his middle and high school years, whenever schools were closed due to political unrest, his mother arranged for him to take private English classes and made sure he attended regardless of the circumstances. He remembers one particular day, when he was in the sixth grade. He and a friend were returning home from English class when they heard the sound of bullets hitting the concrete wall they were walking alongside. They immediately hit the ground and hid in a ditch. When they got up, they discovered the body of a woman who had been walking just steps in front of them. The sight of her white dress covered in blood still haunts him. He was crying when he got

home. His mother consoled him and sent him to school the next day. Looking back, Fazly appreciates his mother’s determination, for it was his knowledge of the English language that helped him land a job after high school with an American company that provided law enforcement training to the Afghan police. The position led to a job as the scheduler for the president of Afghanistan. By that time, Fazly had started taking classes at Kabul University and was looking for opportunities to go West. A trip to Washington, D.C., as part of his government job finally opened the door he had been looking for. Through a series of fateful encounters, Fazly found out a North Carolina school named Elon University was interested in admitting Afghan students. He applied and eventually received the Pavlov Endowed Scholarship, which is awarded to international students. But the admission process wasn’t easy. Susan Klopman was Fazly’s first contact at Elon. Then vice president of admissions, she worked with him to get all his paperwork

ready before he arrived in the country. It was post-9/11, which meant new regulations and hurdles to jump. “We were admitting a student from a country whose background was very difficult to verify,” she recalls. “I kept putting myself in his place. I’ve never mastered a second language, been alone in another country, suffered financial constrains, been uncertain about my future.” She decided to take a chance on this young man who, though older than most first-year students, was so intent on learning. Four years later, she is still happy she did. “It was a learning experience,” she says. “He’s enormously brave to have done what he did, but he’s also an inspiration. He was willing to risk so much for an education.” It didn’t take long for people to discover Fazly was not a typical high school student, says François Masuka, who works with international students at Elon. He had world experience; he had been in the world of grown ups. He was organized and more independent than regular students. He was older and didn’t need much assistance. And SPRING 2014  25

“The Elon community became my family. It became my second home, a beautiful home away from home.” Toorialey Fazly ’14

{ Toorialey Fazly ‘14 and Mason Sklut ‘14}

so he was placed in a nearby apartment complex where he could have more privacy. Little did anybody know that decision was going to play a part in one of Fazly’s greatest challenges during his time at Elon. ✹ ✹ ✹ Only 15 days after arriving on campus, Fazly was riding his bike to class when he was hit by a car. He was taken to Duke University Hospital by helicopter with a broken neck and leg. Masuka was one of the first people to meet him at the hospital. “Usually, someone who was hit and had a broken vertebrae is in a panic,” he says. “But what I found is a relaxed patient. He was not under medication at the time. He was reassuring us that everything was OK. That’s not something you usually see in students.” For Fazly, there was no other alternative but to be courageous and rely on his faith. There was no bitterness, no resentment. “I’m a big believer in God, so I know God has always helped me and no matter what, he would be with me all the time,” he says. “It was not easy but I knew I would be fine, that I would be walking again. I knew that.” That certainty allowed him to cope with the countless doctor visits and procedures that followed. It also led him to the decision not to tell his mother about the accident until he saw her face to face; he knew there was nothing she could do except worry. When he went home that summer, he told her everything. He showed her a file with all his medical records. He showed her the X-rays and other reports detailing how they put screws on his head so he could wear a halo. She didn’t say anything, only cried. She was angry. The next morning, she thanked him for keeping the news from her. 26  the MAGAZINE of ELON

Fazly not only survived the accident. He thrived after it. Before coming to Elon, he didn’t care if people liked him. The devoted Muslim expected to encounter distrust or even hatred. Whatever happened he was determined to finish his degree and make one or two friends along the way. What he didn’t expect was the level of love, attention and care he received. “The Elon community became my family,” he says. “It became my second home, a beautiful home away from home.” Fazly adapted well to Western culture, and to Elon’s in particular, says Carolynn Whitley, who works in the department of political science, where Fazly has spent countless hours in the past four years as a student, office worker and research assistant. He embraced differences. He welcomed interactions with people from different races, faiths, ethnicities and countries. Phil Smith, then with the chaplain’s office, saw this firsthand as the two worked closely to provide more programs to Elon’s growing Muslim student population and as they developed more interfaith opportunities. He was the first student to apply to the Better Together multi-faith living-learning community. He was paired with Mason Sklut ’14, epitomizing what the community was all about, Smith says—a Muslim from Afghanistan and a Jew from Charlotte, N.C., who lived together and learned from each other across and in spite of perceived cultural and religious boundaries. All those interactions taught Fazly valuable lessons. “They opened my eyes to see everything that I come across from a different perspective than the one I had before,” he says. “The education that I’ve received from Elon changed my whole life and it put me on a different track.” He even met the woman he will marry through Elon while studying abroad in London last spring, something that brings a smile to his face.

✹ ✹ ✹ Some might say Fazly got lucky. But if you ask him, he would tell you luck had nothing to do with it. Everything happens for a reason; nothing is coincidence. Everything happens through hard work, if you are willing to seize the opportunities that come your way. “I believe that God gradually brightens up every morning, that God shows us a way to succeed and a way to victory,” he says. “My life has been like that as well.” His positive attitude has left an indelible mark on those with whom he has come in contact. He taught Masuka to be young at heart, not to worry too much or want to be in control of everything. Sometimes you have to let things go, Masuka says, and something good will come out of it. Klopman, on the other hand, has learned to not let fear control her, to boldly take the challenges ahead. “It’s been a great friendship and I can’t wait to see what the future unfolds for him,” she says. Fazly, too, is looking to the future. He is applying for jobs in the United States but longs to return to his country, just not right now. Things are uncertain for a person in his position—with ties to the previous government, educated in the West, looking for a unified Afghanistan. Still, he remains optimistic that the recent elections are a sign democracy will prevail and Afghans can build on the few but priceless achievements from the past 12 years, with the support of the international community. He sees himself working for an international organization or for his country in 10 years, living with his family in a house they can call their own, but above all, helping anyone who needs a hand. That’s just how he was raised. Even when things were tough at home, he managed to help those less fortunate than him. “If I did it with empty hands, with full hands I could do it better.” For now, all he wants is to have his mother by his side at Commencement as he crosses the stage Under the Oaks, so she, too, can visit paradise, if only for a moment.




Dear Elon Alumni,


’m honored to be writing my first column as the president of your alumni board. I am humbled and will embrace this opportunity with the significance it deserves. I enjoy serving in this role on the heels of great volunteers such as outgoing president Julia Strange Chase ’84 P’13, who demonstrated unwavering commitment to alumni engagement. As I look back on my Elon experience, I fondly recall the milestones of my undergraduate experience: my acceptance to Elon, New Student Convocation, first class, first student government leadership position, joining my fraternity, first internship, and, of course, graduation. Each of these experiences helped shape me to be the person I am today. We all have milestones—each year almost 5,800 students make their own. They struggle to understand who they are and where they fit in this complicated world. They advance their academic careers toward graduation. They develop new friendships that will stay with them through life. All of these firsts happen within the supportive walls of Elon and under the guidance of great faculty and staff. Like us and students, Elon has also enjoyed significant milestones. Most recently our alma mater celebrated its 125th birthday. While we all dread another birthday (and we shouldn’t, as it beats the alternative), Elon has embraced its age and celebrated all that we’ve accomplished. However, in true Elon fashion, our eyes are focused on the future and what we can accomplish before our next birthday. As Elon keeps its eye on tomorrow, I call on my peers to participate in creating the future milestones of our alma mater, current students and those who are yet to come. Elon competes with institutions that are older, have more history and enjoy a higher level of support. Our primary means to compete with these peers is a new level of engagement from our alumni. I encourage you to reflect on your life, remember your milestones and choose to support Elon with your time, talent and treasure. Together, Elon will remain not only a relevant milestone in our life, but will continue to be impactful to the young men and women who follow our journey. Warmly yours (especially after this winter),

Five LGBTQIA alumni returned to campus in early March to participate in Elon’s second annual LGBTQIA career panel. They shared their experiences and advice on topics including ways to find an LGBTQIA-friendly workplace, navigating job applications and interviews, and finding networks and mentors. The panelists (pictured below) were: »» Darris Means ’05, associate director of the Elon Academy »» Tatum Robinson ’99 G’02 and Lisa Ciaravella ’98, co-founders and co-owners of Phoenix Physical Therapy and Sports Performance »» Peyton Jenkins ’10, middle school history teacher »» Annie Chalmers ’03, clinical social worker »» Joshua McIntosh ’97, dean of academic services at Johns Hopkins University The event was organized by the LGBTQIA Alumni Network, the Student Professional Development Center, the Office of Alumni Engagement and the Gender & LGBTQIA Center.

Christian Wiggins ’03 Elon Alumni Board President

COMMENCEMENT EVENTS Relive your memories of walking Under the Oaks by celebrating the Class of 2014 at these special Commencement events:

African-American Commencement Reception May 22, 6:30-8 p.m., Lakeside Meeting Rooms, Moseley Center Hosted by the Office of Alumni Engagement, Elon’s Black Alumni Network and the Multicultural Center

Legacy Reception May 23, 5:30-7 p.m., Lakeside Meeting Rooms, Moseley Center Hosted by the Office of Alumni Engagement

Elon’s 124th Commencement May 24, 9:15 a.m., Under the Oaks Following the ceremony, alumni can visit the Office of Alumni Engagement table and help hand out oak saplings to welcome the newest members of the alumni family.

SPRING 2014  27

on the town


Chapter happenings Elon’s spring Evening for Elon series kicked off in March with more than 150 Elon students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and friends attending the event in

Los Angeles. As part of his update, President Leo M. Lambert shared success stories that captured the progress of the university’s strategic plan. After watching the new alumni video, alumni started chanting “EU—you know,” summarizing the spirit of the night. Boston,

Charlotte and Raleigh also hosted spring Evening for Elon events.



lon hosted its first Reunion Night at Phoenix Baseball April 1 at Latham Park. Alumni in attendance, representing reunion classes from 1969 to 2004, received complimentary game tickets and enjoyed special catering from Zack’s Hot Dogs, a local Burlington, N.C., favorite. With perfect spring weather, alumni connected with classmates and cheered on Elon’s 10-2 victory over North Carolina A&T. During the event, reunion volunteer Ruby Thornton ’99 talked about the importance of milestone reunions and building excitement for Homecoming 2014, Oct. 17-19. For more information about Homecoming Weekend, go to


28  the MAGAZINE of ELON


Beginning in August, regional chapters will

smoother. We encourage you to attend the

host their annual Welcome to the City &

event in your area to learn more about your

Alumni Network events. This traditional

chapter and upcoming events planned

chapter event serves as a welcome for 2014

especially for you. More details about these

graduates and alumni new to the area,

events will be posted later in the summer at

helping make the transition to a new city





his year the Office of Alumni Engagement is offering alumni a chance to enhance their professional skills through free career webinars led by top career authors and experts. The series provides professional development opportunities for alumni to enhance their current talents while learning new skills, networking and job search techniques needed for the ever-evolving job market. Sessions include: ✪✪ Career management – Peter Weddle

photo by: Jonathan Citty ‘10

✪✪ Social media – Melissa Giobagnoli ✪✪ Elevator pitch – Chris Westfall ✪✪ Personal entrepreneurism – Ben Casnocha

{ Triangle }

✪✪ Career development – Richard Bolles ✪✪ Networking – Ivan Misner ✪✪ Leadership – Al Duncan

A special thank you to all who participated in the Rise Up &

✪✪ Twitter – Susan Whitcomb

Serve Month of Service in April. Regional chapters across the country sponsored service projects to celebrate Elon’s commitment to volunteerism and service in the community—from participating in a charity 5K run/walk in Atlanta and cleaning a community shelter in Boston, to working at a food bank in Orlando and helping at an organic farm in urban Washington, D.C. Special thanks to the chapter leaders who helped to organize these events.

{ Charleston }

✪✪ Job search – John Boyd Each webinar is saved online so alumni can log in and view them at any time. The next live webinar will be June 4, when John Boyd will lead a conversation on job searching and how to define your true value and sell it to your target market. In addition to the session, alumni can also join an ongoing discussion about careers, career opportunities and ideas with other alumni. For information on how to log in and participate in this professional development opportunity, visit

{ Orlando }

{ Triangle }

{ New York }

spring 2014  29


{ l-r: Kelsey Glover ’11, Nichole Allem ’08, Sara Gould ’09, Jarvier “Jay” Young ’08, Jennifer Heilman ’07, Nneka Enurah ’11 and David Douglas ’06. }

CELEBRATING THE SUCCESS OF YOUNG ALUMNI They are enthusiastic professionals who are impacting the world and whose love for their alma mater sets them apart. They are the 2014 Top 10 Under 10 Alumni Awards recipients who were recognized by the Office of Alumni Engagement and the Young Alumni Council at a March 22 ceremony. ✪✪ Nichole Allem ’08, foreign affairs officer, Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State (Washington, D.C.) ✪✪ Mark Bender ’06, owner/managing partner, Grand Medical Center (Hollywood, Fla.) ✪✪ David Douglas ’06, producer, Al Jazeera America Network (Chicago)

30  the MAGAZINE of ELON

✪✪ Nneka Enurah ’11, segment producer/ field producer, POPSUGAR Studio (Los Angeles) ✪✪ Carson Foushee ’07, co-pastor, Kanazawa International Baptist Church (Japan) ✪✪ Kelsey Glover ’11, founder and chief executive officer, KLG Strategic Solutions LLC (Washington, D.C.) ✪✪ Sara Gould ’09, lead teacher and fifth grade chair, KIPP DC Will Academy (Washington, D.C.)

✪✪ Jennifer Heilman ’07, digital communications lead and media relations specialist, Arlington County Government (Arlington, Va.) ✪✪ Brian McGuire ’04, vice president of treasury management services, Private Bank of Buckhead (Atlanta) ✪✪ Jarvier “Jay” Young ’08, business manager/ chief operating officer, Wells Fargo Middle Market Investment Banking (Charlotte, N.C.) “It’s such an honor to be in the ‘Top 10’ with you guys,” Enurah said during her acceptance speech. “Elon has had such a major impact on my career. … I took full advantage of every opportunity that Elon presented to me and I’m so grateful that I did because here I am now.” The annual Top 10 Under 10 Alumni Awards recognize alumni of the past decade who have enjoyed major professional success, made a big difference in their community and loyally support Elon.




Jacob R. Parks is living in a

retirement community in Durham, N.C. His uncle Emmett L. Moffitt was the third president of Elon College and oversaw the expansion and modernization of Elon’s campus. Several members of his family attended Elon, including granddaughter Elizabeth Fisher Goad ’95. He was grateful to be part of the Long Maroon Line of alumni during Elon’s Fall Convocation in October. He says he always lived frugally but made it a priority to contribute to Elon. He and his wife established the Rena Cole Parks and Jacob R. Parks Endowed Scholarship. He credits former physics and mathematics professor Dean Alonzo L. Hook 1913 with making his Elon experience special.


Doris D. Weldon Renn

is retired and spends her time volunteering at her church, reading and playing Bridge. Her favorite Elon memory is singing

in the church choir as one of only three high sopranos. She also enjoyed eating with all the football players and remembers time spent with her roommate Jane Wilson. She says her Elon education prepared her to run a very successful business that she owned and operated with her husband for 26 years.


Max Edmond Neese

remembers the peace and tranquility that existed on Elon’s campus after World War II ended. He has fond memories of his fraternity, the soda shop, the oak trees and the Old Well. He recalls his organic chemistry class taught by Dr. J. Earl Danieley ’46 and says all of the service professors were special to him, along with Dean Daniel J. Bowden. He encourages students to find their passion and learn as much as they can. He says, “As you get older you will be thankful that you attained that goal.” John D. “Jack” Moody Jr.

and wife Faye Rickard Moody ’65 recently celebrated 67 years of marriage. Among the people who marked his time at Elon are Dr. Johnson, John W. Barney 1910 and Daniel Bowden.


Max C. Littlejohn is retired

and fondly remembers the strong friendships he had with many Elon students. He says he is deeply impressed by the growth and beauty of the campus.


Fred Hawkins is proud to call Elon his alma mater and take friends by the campus to see how it has progressed over the years. He fondly remembers the friendly and helpful staff at Elon. To students he says, “Don’t ever give up, turn the page and something else will turn up.”


David F. Ingram enjoys watching sports and spending time with his children and grandchildren, which include four Elon alumni: Angie I. Hodnett ’75, Kent S. Ingram ’78, Holly Dalton ’90 and Yancy D. Moran ’01. He says Dean Daniel J. Bowden, professor William Sloan and his wife, and Jim Mallory helped make his time at Elon “the best years of [his] life.”

54 J. King White ‘80, retired Elon professor Anne Ponder & Timothy Moore ’78

Ronald E. Black retired in 1996 as professor emeritus of Cecil Community College in Maryland after working there for 27 years. He fondly remembers choir concerts, tours and rehearsals at Elon and says Dr. J. Earl Danieley ’46, Jim Rhodes ’53 and John Westmoreland ’41 made his time at Elon special. He applied what he learned at Elon during his 40 years of teaching and often recommends the school to friends.

Mike Novak ‘90

Jamie Goebel Ketola ‘01 & Dale Ketola Joseph Brown ‘96 & daughter Adelynn Elise


Charles Gilbert Crews Jr., husband of the late Jo Ann W. Crews ’56, is retired and

says Elon gave him a chance to make a mark in life. He fondly remembers John W. Barney 1910, Horace H. Cunningham, Dr. J. Earl Danieley ’46, Furman Moseley ’56, Dr. Leon Smith 1910, Nick Theos ’56, Cooper Walker ’54 and John Westmoreland ’41. To students he says, “Never give up. Look ahead always.”

Leslie Roessler Kernodle ‘99 & children

56 Amanda Smith Pfennig ‘01, Brad Pfennig ’00 & daughter Lillian Brook

Nicole DeMaio Munns ’02, Joel Munns ‘00 & children

Keira Wickliffe Berger ‘02 & Jonathan Berger

Zane M. Moore is retired as

a Presbyterian USA minister and was president of Thornwell Home and School for Children SPRING 2014  31

CLASS NOTES for the past 15 years. His grandson, Marshall Harris ’16, attends Elon and is also enjoying his time there. He says Dr. J. Earl Danieley ’46 helped make his time at Elon special. His advice to students is to “study hard, take advantage of every opportunity, play fair and make many friends.” Harold G. Walker is retired from farming. His father, aunt, sister and son, Carl A. Walker ’87, are all Elon graduates. He fondly remembers playing intramural basketball, and continues to support Elon athletics by giving annually. He considers Dr. J. Earl Danieley ’46 a lifetime friend. To

students he says, “Follow Elon after you graduate and give back by what you have learned.”


C. Ben Kendall enjoys

spending his time playing golf. His favorite Elon memory is when he was MVP of the North State Tournament. He says Husky Hall ’53, Hank Hamrick ’55, Doc Mathis, Scott Quackenbush and Dr. Reynolds made his time at Elon special. He encourages students to work hard and laugh a lot.


Phillip Loman is retired and


John Brady is retired

enjoys hearing about how Elon continues to grow. Among the people who made his college experience special are Dean Alonzo L. Hook 1913 and Dr. J. Earl Danieley ’46. He encourages students to study hard and have fun.

and fondly remembers his classmates and Dr. J. Earl Danieley ’46. He says he is always thinking of the old days and encourages students to “be a firstclass student and study hard.”

61 Lesley Chesson ‘02 & Michael Brogch

Lynn Chheang ‘02 & friends

from teaching tennis. His favorite Elon memory is playing on the tennis team. His tennis coach and philosophy instructor Dr. Bill Blackstone made his time at Elon special, along with Steve Mauldin ’60 and Dr. Robert Benson. He recently attended his 50-year class reunion and enjoyed it tremendously.

62 Tyler Stanley ‘02, Rachel Stanley & friends

Timothy Steadman ‘02, Karen Dickens Steadman ’03 & son Ari William

32  the MAGAZINE of ELON

Jason Monkelien ‘06 & Jennie Minteer Monkelien

Jim Dale Davenport is retired

and enjoys spending time with his grandkids. He remembers Professors Epperson and Bidler debating the philosophy of humanity’s eternal existence and says his thoughts are still influenced by the Christian attributes he learned at Elon. He considers Dr. J. Earl Danieley ’46, Dean Alonzo L. Hook 1913, Dr. Paul Cheek, Professor Epperson and John Graves as some of the people who made his Elon experience special.

63 Katie Shepard Schanely ‘05, Bryan Schanely & son Charlie Patrick

James L. Bennett Jr. is retired

Dewey V. Andrew has

enjoyed watching Elon continue to progress and grow and has endowed a scholarship at the school. He fondly remembers playing basketball for Coach Bill Miller and considers his basketball teammates, Dr. J. Earl

Danieley ’46, Dean Alonzo L. Hook 1913 and Wes Alexander as some

of the people who made his Elon experience special. To students he says, “Success is a result of hard work and vision. To be successful, you have to be willing to do what is necessary to get the job done.” Garland E. Paschal is a retired school administrator from Rockingham County Schools. His favorite Elon memory is hearing Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson speak at convocation. He remembers Dr. J. Earl Danieley ’46 as a great leader and his English professor, Jennings Berry, and enjoys visiting campus and observing the magnificent growth. During his time at Elon, he attended day, evening and summer classes, which he says was “difficult at times but well worth it.”


After 41 years in the corporate insurance business, Frank R. Lyon retired on 12/9/13. Three days later, he joined AmeriCares, a global health and disaster relief organization, as an advancement officer. Frank has been involved with the organization, which delivers medicines, medical supplies and aid to people in need in the United States and around the world, for 32 years and is happy to be able to give back. He and wife Natalie live in Connecticut.


Linda Bartlett Moore, married to Timothy M. Moore, is the director of dental

programs for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. She recently had an article published in the North Carolina Medical Journal. Timothy works for DEAG LLC and General Insights as an international keynote speaker and was recently published in Life Science Leader Magazine. They live in Cary.


J. King White and Timothy M. Moore ’78 recently met

with former Elon Professor and Director of Academic Honors Program Anne Ponder at the Research Triangle Park 180° event. Ponder taught English at Elon and White remembers a particular class in which students discussed films such as “Julia” and “Bonnie and Clyde.” White says the class was progressive for the times. Ponder also served as Timothy’s adviser, and the three enjoyed getting together after so many years.


{ From left: Beverly Boal McLean ’84, J. Fred Young, Mary Lou Chandler Boal ’63, J. Earl Danieley ’46, Leo M. Lambert and Taylor McLean ‘14. }



t’s not every day you can get three generations of Elon students together with the presidents who served during their respective college careers. But that’s exactly the feat Mary Lou Chandler Boal ’63, daughter Beverly Boal McLean ’84 and granddaughter Taylor McLean ’14 were able to accomplish when they attended a special Founders Day dinner on March 11. As part of the event, presidents J. Earl Danieley ’46, J. Fred Young and Leo M. Lambert shared insights into the history of the institution. “I was very impressed,” says Mary Lou, whose family ties to Elon go back to its founding and have continued for six generations. “It was nice to hear the three presidents speak.” After the event, the three managed to snap a photo with the presidents, creating a new memory of the place that has been a constant throughout their lives. In the early 1890s, Mary Lou’s great grandfather, George S. Watson, a member of the college’s provisional board, mortgaged his farm to guarantee a loan used by then-President William S. Long to continue construction of the college; he later created an endowment. Mary Lou’s aunt, Frances Chandler Wilkins ’34, was a longtime trustee, and her father, George Ruffin Chandler ’34, also started an endowment at the school. “I grew up knowing and loving Elon,” she

says, adding there was no question about her college choice. But in the early 1960s, there were not many career choices for women, Mary Lou says: She could get a degree in education and become a teacher or study home economics and become a homemaker. She wasn’t interested in either and decided to leave school early and work as a flight attendant. It’s a career that later led her to open a travel agency in her native Kentucky, a business she owns to this day. Still, Mary Lou’s love for Elon never waned and when the time came for her daughter to go to college, she chose Elon as well. Beverly graduated with a mathematics degree but instead of going into the field, she followed her mother’s footsteps. She works as social media director for a travel agency in Virginia. Not surprisingly there was only one college Beverly’s daughter, Taylor, was interested in when her time came. “My family wasn’t like, ‘You have to go to Elon,’” says Taylor, who used to wear her grandmother’s Elon sweaters in middle school. “I just expected to go there.” After watching the school and academic offerings grow for the past 50 years, Mary Lou marvels at the opportunities available for students today, especially through study abroad programs. “This is what’s exciting to me,” she says.

Her daughter agrees. “We are so pleased with Elon’s interest in the study abroad experience,” Beverly says, adding that visiting other countries and being exposed to different cultures has been an important part of their lives. For Taylor, who is studying religious studies and plans to go into the ministry, experiencing Elon through the eyes of her mother and grandmother, and listening to the presidents who led the institution before her time, was inspirational. “I never thought too much about being a sixth generation [legacy] student,” she says. “But after listening to Dr. Danieley and Dr. Young … and seeing that history through each generation in my family, I have a deeper sense of pride. My wish is to continue being a part of Elon to make sure my child goes here.” That brings a smile to her grandmother’s face. “That’s the reason why I wanted her to attend the dinner,” says Mary Lou, who plans to continue supporting the school through a planned gift. “Having seven generations of a family attend Elon is a way to support the school. There is a lot of tradition here.”

SPRING 2014  33



Kevin Wilson is chief

executive officer of Sylvester Enterprises, a contributing writer for Evolution Magazine and a publicist for the world’s youngest professional baseball player, Joe Louis Reliford, who will be the subject of a film in the near future. Kevin lives in Maryland.


Scott Stevenson was

appointed vice president of talent acquisition for Bank of America Merchant Services in February. Scott will be responsible for managing vendor relationships and executing recruiting strategies. He lives in Charlotte, N.C.


Bill Bride is a senior

accountant at Cigital and has been a sideline photographer for university sports websites for the past three years. He recently photographed the Elon vs. Georgetown men’s basketball game in Washington, D.C. He hopes to

return to campus one day to shoot the Phoenix basketball or football teams.


Sarah Elaine James Penny

and husband Edward Penny adopted their son, Jackson McDuffie Penny, earlier this year. Jackson joins sister Sarah Ellie, 6. The family lives in Efland, N.C.


Stephanie Dawkins and Bob Palmer were married on 10/20/13. Stephanie works as assistant city administrator for the City of Geneva, Ill., where the couple live. Mike Novak has been appointed vice chancellor of enrollment at Florida-based Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide. He has worked at the university for 10 years. He and his family live in Port Orange.


Frank Pugh has accepted

the position of concert band director for the Wytheville

Community College concert band, which former Elon faculty member Jack White founded. Frank will continue to direct the band program at Fort Chiswell middle and high schools. He and wife Stephanie live in Wytheville, Va.


Joseph Brown and wife Valerie welcomed daughter Adelynn Elise on 5/20/13. The family lives in Rocky Mount, Va. Douglas Kooluris founded G. Griffin Wine & Spirits in 2013 in Westchester County, N.Y. After 20 years of working in restaurants and hotels, Douglas found a passion for both wine and people. The shop serves as a place to unite wine lovers and is also an educational and tasting venue.


In February Christopher Landino was promoted to associate director in the Office of Career Services for the Graduate School of Education and Human Development at George Washington University. He lives in Arlington, Va. Lori Zannino was promoted to director of research and programming at Fox26 Carolinas/My12 in Charlotte, N.C., where she lives.


Calvin Stanley is now working as an applied behavior analysis direct therapist at the May Institute, which provides services for autistic children. Calvin lives in Braintree, Mass. Leslie Roessler Kernodle and husband E. Clark Kernodle welcomed daughter Lana Brooke on 9/17/13. She joins older brother Aiden and older sisters Kiya and Emmy. The family lives in Graham, N.C.

J. Matthew Camp ‘06, Amber King Camp ‘06 & children

Ashley Sumwalt Chastain ‘07, Matt Chastain ’07 & son Cole

Katey Dowd Gonzalez ‘07, Rene Gonzalez & children



welcomed son Ryan Nicholas on 1/20/13. He joins older sister Kaitlin. The family lives in Lady’s Island, S.C. Brad Pfennig and wife Amanda Smith Pfennig ’01 welcomed daughter Lillian Brook on 1/21/14. Amanda is a provider support manager for Bridgvine, Inc., and Brad is owner of Avid Associates. The family lives in Vero Beach, Fla.

Kristen Kennedy ‘08 & Lee K. Howard Meg Ross Whalen ’07 & Danny Whalen ‘07

01 Larissa Ferretti Beaty ’09 & Brian Beaty ’09

34  the MAGAZINE of ELON

B.J. Williams ‘09 L’12, Heather Sangtinette Williams L’12 & friends

Joel Munns and wife Nicole DeMaio Munns ’02

Jamie Goebel and Dale Ketola were married 5/11/13. Jamie is vice president of Nick’s Cigar World Inc., and owner of The website partners with bridal boutiques and serves as a directory




hris Jones ’80 and daughter Katherine ’14 started work in 2011 on a collection of photos, poems and stories about the moments that have shaped their lives. But their unofficial collaboration began the day Katherine was born. “The very act of living and the experiences that make life was our writing process,” Chris says. “Many of the poems, essays and photographs were written and taken years ago.” Sections of the book, Sandbars, Sandlots, and City Streets; Growing Up in the Old South (1957), which was published in September, date back to 1976, the first year Chris attended Elon College. He mentions feelings of fear and anxiety during the first day of classes and later, the calm he found in professor J. Earl Danieley ’46, who he calls his “advisor,” “second father” and “ sole ally,” particularly in those earlier days. Thirty years later, the man who helped Chris transition into life at Elon was the same man to convince Chris’ daughter to attend her father’s alma mater. When Katherine visited Elon for the first time, Chris insisted they visit Danieley. “After our visit, I was hooked,” Katherine says. “To see how they joked back and forth, swapped stories and talked about the beauty of Elon, I knew right then that I wanted to be part of this family. I wanted to have those relationships with my professors after 30 years.” Despite the significant changes at Elon between Chris’ graduation and Katherine’s orientation, they both regard Elon as a vital part of their lives. “Katherine’s university in 2014 isn’t what I remember,” Chris says. “She will graduate from a global university, whereas I graduated from a small college where most of the students came from North Carolina and Virginia.” During Chris’ time at Elon, he was a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon and the baseball team. The sport, for which both Katherine and

{ Chris Jones ‘80 and Katherine Jones ‘14 }

Chris are passionate, is a prominent character in Sandbars, Sandlots, and City Streets. The duo write about the fields on which they played, the players they met, their respect for baseball’s history and their failed attempt to save part of the old Yankee Stadium from demolition. The book also pays homage to their Southern roots. Reflecting on their ancestors, their home on the Eastern shore of Virginia and Chris’ hometown in Richmond, they express a deep respect for the South. Writing about these topics, Chris and Katherine relay a deeper message about the heartache of change and ever-evolving nature of life. This theme echoes in the book’s pages as Elon College becomes Elon University, one of baseball’s most revered stadiums is destroyed and Southern cities develop into something new. Working on the book has meant different things for the father and daughter. Chris says the actual writing process was bittersweet as

he reflected on both the mistakes he made along with the blissful moments of life. For Katherine, the experience was empowering. “Writing this book with my dad helped me realize the importance and power within myself,” Katherine says. “Everyone has a voice and everyone has a right to contribute their thoughts, beliefs, experiences, heartbreaks, happiness and sorrows.” But for both, Sandbars, Sandlots, and City Streets is about having a tangible testament to the people and places they love the most. “Everyone experiences love of family, love of place and relationships,” Chris says. “I hope our book offers a different perspective on growing up, on baseball, on family and on Elon College and Elon University.”

Sandbars, Sandlots, and City Streets is available on, through the publisher at and at Barnes & Noble at Elon University. SPRING 2014  35

CLASS NOTES { Left: Children posing in front of The Macchi School in Tobatí, Paraguay. Below (l-r): Taylor Ross and Darren LaFrenier ’07 during the various stages of their cross-country biking trip to raise money for the school. }



ore than a decade ago, Darren LaFrenier ’07 decided to spend his spring break building an English learning center in Tobatí, Paraguay. The then-high school junior was so impressed by what he saw being accomplished in this poverty-stricken area, he returned the following year. He went back again during his senior year at Elon, this time to lead a group of students from his former high school to help with the center, which eventually turned into The Macchi School—a private school that provides free education, three meals a day and health care services to local children from severely disadvantaged communities. Still feeling the tug of the children, LaFrenier returned to the school to teach English in 2008 after graduating from Elon with a psychology degree. “These kids come from absolutely nothing. We have kids who study by candlelight. They go home and don’t have electricity, and running water is luxury,” says LaFrenier, who is now in his second year at the helm of the school. “Our mantra is ‘todo es posible’ [anything is possible]. Along with discipline, we instill that if you put your mind to something and follow through, you can honestly accomplish anything.” Last December LaFrenier and co-faculty member Taylor Ross put this mantra to the test. They embarked on a 3,100-mile crosscountry bicycling trip from St. Augustine, Fla., to San Diego to raise awareness and funds

36  the MAGAZINE of ELON

for the school as part of Team Tobatí, the nonprofit organization responsible for fully financing the school. “We had those two months off for vacation and figured, ‘Why not?’ We bought a plane ticket to Florida and hopped on the bikes right from the bike shop,” he says. “A lot of the students have even said, ‘You guys are a great example: you put your mind to something and you can do it.’ It’s motivating for them.” Biking nearly 80 miles per day, the two raised about $30,000 for the school, money LaFrenier says he plans to use to revamp the school’s computer lab and start a college fund. “Most of our students’ parents can’t afford to send them to college. It didn’t make sense to Taylor and me that our students study for six years, 10-11 hours a day and then their education stops after high school,” he says. “They’re getting a fantastic middle and high school education at our school, but a lot of them don’t have resources to continue their education, and that was just so saddening to us.” Three of the school’s alumni currently attend college on scholarships in the United States. LaFrenier says these students are leaders at the school and motivate others to follow in their footsteps. “We’re working with driven kids who want to succeed and want to get ahead in life,” he says. “That’s the

beauty of it—seeing these kids who have nothing and want out of poverty. They give it all they have.” While he was passionate about the work in Tobatí prior to Elon, LaFrenier is thankful for professors such as Michael Calhoun in the health and human performance department, who encouraged him to commit to the Team Tobatí mission. “He was one person who told me I should stay connected with the organization, that things like this will hugely impact your life,” he says. “I always remembered that and always kind of kept that in the back of my head.” LaFrenier says he’d love to find a way to combine Team Tobatí’s goals with Elon’s commitment to service learning and study abroad so Elon students get a chance to work at the school. At least 10 Elon alumni are part of Team Tobatí. “There’s so much we can do to improve life as a whole for everyone,” he says. “Lend a helping hand and try to better the world—that’s my standpoint.” To learn more about Team Tobatí and The Macchi School, visit

CLASS NOTES for brides. The couple live in Myrtle Beach, S.C.


Lesley Chesson and Michael Brogch were married 10/5/13. Alumni in attendance included Christina Ferrari ’01, Emily Wolff ’01, Sarah Fitch, Amy Foster Moon, Jennifer Coleman Hunter ’03 and Sarah Townsend ’03. Lesley is president of IsoForensics, Inc. The couple live in Salt Lake City. Lynn Chheang and Ryan Hill were married 9/14/13. Alumni in attendance included Kristen Choy Eddy ’01, Katie Sharkey Czarny, Nicole Kamay Jordan, Ann Marie Lapps, Leigh-Ann Weingarten, Kim Hansman Ermer ’03, Emily Kolakowski ’03, Rachel Bocchino ’04, Allison Preston Lalli ’04 and Megan McGrath ’04. Lynn is an accountant for Interstate Hotels & Resorts. The couple live in Arlington, Va. Katie Sullivan Corrigan and husband Dan Corrigan welcomed son James Francis on 12/5/13. The family lives in Washington, D.C. Mike Kanner has been named to Morgan Stanley’s prestigious Master’s Club, a group composed of the firm’s top financial advisers. He has been with Morgan Stanley Wealth Management since 2009 and lives in Vero Beach, Fla., with wife Cami. Matt Myatt was honored with Village Realty’s Sales Agent of the Year Award for the fifth consecutive year. Matt is a senior associate broker with Village Realty in Outer Banks, N.C., and lives in Southern Shores. Tyler Stanley and Rachel Stanley were married 6/1/13 in Manchester, Conn. The wedding party included Elon alumni William Andrews ’02, Patrick Fuller ’03 and Bret Jacobs ’03. Tyler is a pediatric nurse practitioner at Central Pediatrics. The couple live in Glastonbury. Timothy Steadman and wife Karen Dickens Steadman ’03 welcomed son Ari William on 2/7/13. The couple have lived in New Delhi for four years where Karen is a third grade teacher for the American Embassy School and Tim is a photographer. Keira Wickliffe and Jonathan Berger were married 4/27/13. Alumni in attendance included Mike Lopata and Shannon O’Connor Lopata. Keira is a regional epidemiologist

for the Michigan Department of Community Health. The couple live in Ypsilanti, Minn.


Matthew Parker and wife Kathryn Parker welcomed daughter Scout on 1/27/14. They live in Brookville, Md.


Bobby Griffin was inducted

into his high school’s hall of fame for his contributions as an athlete and coach. He is a teacher and head coach for West Craven Middle School’s football, baseball and wrestling teams. He lives in New Bern, N.C. Katie Shepard Schanely and husband Bryan Schanely welcomed son Charlie Patrick on 12/27/13. They live in Collegeville, Pa.


Peter Bellezza is now a

podiatric resident physician at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. This three-year program emphasizes podiatric medicine and surgery residency with reconstructive rear-foot and ankle certification. He lives in Chicago. J. Matthew Camp and wife Amber King Camp welcomed daughter Abigail Dawn on 10/27/13. Abby joins older brother Ben. The family lives in Randleman, N.C. Lauren Goodelman and Brendan Malloney were married 10/20/13. Lauren is a senior human resources analyst for Columbia Property Trust, Inc. The couple live in Atlanta. Jason Monkelien and Jennie Minteer Monkelien were married 6/29/13 in Tracys Landing, Md. Jason is a financial recruiter for Robert Half International. The couple live in Sterling, Va. Elizabeth Peterman Younger and husband Bradley Younger welcomed daughter Mae Annabel on 11/8/13. The family lives in Cincinnati.

{ Elon students in an art class in the 1950s . }

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Ashley Sumwalt Chastain and husband Matt Chastain

welcomed son Cole on 3/4/13. Ashley is a behavior analyst for the Carolina Center for ABA and Matt is a physician-liaison at Carolinas Healthcare System. They live in Charlotte, N.C. . Amanda Davis and Kelly Baker were married in October 2013. Alumni in attendance included Marilee Higgins, Sarah Hetherington Kenny and Caitlan Pyden. The couple live in High Point, N.C. Katey Dowd Gonzalez and husband Rene Gonzalez welcomed daughter Sofia Kate on 10/25/13. They live in Cincinnati.

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To calculate a gift annuity for you, your spouse or a family member, visit Talk with us today about how you may benefit from a life income gift to Elon and other gift planning opportunities. please contact: Carolyn DeFrancesco, Director of Planned Giving (336) 278-7454 ■ ■

SPRING 2014  37

CLASS NOTES Katherine Morris was recently recognized as a National Board Certified Teacher. A North Carolina Teaching Fellow, she is a kindergarten teacher for Craven County Schools. She is enrolled in the graduate program at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She lives in Vanceboro, N.C. Meg Ross and Danny Whalen were married 8/17/13. Alumni in attendance included Raechel Hester ’06, Matthew Holt ’06 and Adam Sherland ’06. The couple live in Denver, where Danny is finishing his doctorate in physical therapy at the University of Colorado.


Kristen Kennedy and Lee K. Howard were married 8/3/13. Alumni in the wedding party included Kimberly Poe Leighty, Kendra Nickel-Nguy and Jordan Cobb ’09. Kristen is a weekend anchor and Lee a weekend sports anchor for WKYT-TV. They live in Lexington, Ky.


Laura Bradford ’09 G’10 and Matthew Hunter g’10

were married 9/1/13. Alumni in attendance included Alisa Petitt ’07 g’10, Cooper Campbell ’08, Colleen Callahan ’09 g’10, Jessica Campbell ’10, Nick Dioguardi ’10, Justine Falkowski ’10, Rachel

TURN YOURSELF IN! Help us keep you in touch with your classmates at Elon.

Guild ’10, Jaymie Shanahan ’10, Jenna Temple ’10 and Cassie Taylor ’11. They are both 2010

graduates of Elon’s interactive media program. Laura is a digital media producer for the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority and Matthew is a digital media designer for TD Garden/Boston Bruins. They live in Brookline. Larissa Ferretti and Brian Beaty were married 11/16/13 in Vero Beach, Fla. Alumni in attendance included Erin Barnett, Sara Channing, Jack Garratt, Sarah Roman Garratt and Rebecca Watts. Larissa is a doctoral candidate at Auburn University and Brian is a medical/doctoral candidate at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. They live in Bronx, N.Y. B.J. Williams ’09 L’12 and Heather Sangtinette L’12 were married 9/7/13 in Ocean City, N.J. Alumni in the wedding party included Marina Emory L’12, Randy Holcomb L’12, Jill Kirshner L’12, Will McNamara L’12, Katelyn Slaughter L’12 and Megan Spidell L’12. Other alumni in attendance included Nicole Sadowski ’03, Paul Benedict, Caitlin Corbett, Sarah Garnitz, Elizabeth Jackman Ludwig, Drew Nelson ’09 L’12, Joe Fulton L’12, Jon Horner ’12, Dominic Longo L’12, Josh Lopez L’12 and Matt White L’12. The couple live in Medford. Chad Zimmermann was recently appointed to assistant public defender in the Lancaster County Public Defender’s Office. He lives in Lancaster, Pa.

Amanda Davis Baker 07, Kelly Baker & friends

Laura Bradford Hunter ’09 G’10, Matthew Hunter G’10 & friends

Heidi Hurrell Trevisan ‘10 & Alex Trevisan’10

Andrew Springs ‘12

Amber Massey Laparra ‘13 & Paul Laparra

In Memoriam Jacqueline Perry Matlock ’45, Burlington, N.C., 2/5/14.

Jacqueline was retired and faithfully served as Elon’s assistant director of admissions for 40 years. Edward M. Alderman ’49, Raleigh, N.C., 2/23/14. Jennie L. Davidson ’57, Wexford, Pa. 12/15/13. J. Lowry Sinclair ’65, Cancun, Mexico, 2/22/14. A longtime Elon supporter, Lowry created the J. Lowry Sinclair III Endowment to support undergraduate research related to complex issues of sexual orientation.

38  the MAGAZINE of ELON


Nathan Guerette has joined

the OB/GYN group at the University of South Florida. As a certified nurse-midwife, Nathan assists with deliveries and works in an outpatient setting. He lives in Tampa, Fla. Heidi Hurrell and Alex Trevisan

were married 6/29/13. Alumni in attendance included Tim Anderson ’07, Andrew Wilen ’08, Cory Dowd ’09, Cory Morrison ’09, Kevin Rate ’09, Claire Shelton Anderson, Lars Bredahl, Dan Browne, Lauren Caldwell, Paul Chabai, Sarah Foushee, Max Harnett, Bobby Hobbs, Ben Huggins, Ben Kaufman, Patrick Kelley, Garrett Kersey, Jerome Lewis, Carter Loetz, John Lynn, Jon Mahlandt, Abby Remein, Megan Schneider, McNeill Smart, David Wilson, Jeremy Williams, Clayton Winkelvoss, Walt Yates, Tristan Bailey ’11, Meghan Gargan Bredahl G’11, Sarah Baker Browne ’11, Ellen Boyle Huggins ’11, Elizabeth Saffelle ’11, Madison Peregrin ’12, Ross Rhoades ’12, Kyle Shoemaker ’12 and Berkeley Smith ’13. Heidi is a first grade teacher at Providence Spring Elementary School and Alex works as a copywriter for Big Council. They live in Charlotte, N.C.


Justin Hinote and wife Tara Moore Hinote welcomed son


Andrew Springs is an account


Joseph Adams and Nicole Tower are happy to announce

Brayden Michael on 3/6/14. The family lives in Arlington, Va.

executive for Fenway Sports Management, the sports marketing arm of the Boston Red Sox and Fenway Sports Group. He says, “It was tough growing up an Orioles fan and working for a rival organization, but the journey these last 20 months has been incredible.” He lives in Boston.

their engagement. Nicole is an elementary teacher at Lenoir County Public Schools and Joseph is a property manager at Fulcher Rentals. They live in Jacksonville, N.C. Chantelle Lytle L’13 has joined Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP as an associate. She practices in the areas of pharmaceutical and medical device litigation, business litigation, products liability, e-discovery and litigation readiness, and records and document management. She lives in Columbia, S.C. Amber Massey and Paul Laparra were married 6/22/13. Amber is a teacher for Alamance-Burlington School System and Paul is the owner of Laparra Chimney Services. They live in Burlington, N.C.


photo by: Fiona Ayerst

{ An internship in South Africa her senior year led Anne Goddard ’12 to produce an award-winning documentary and solidified her passion for wildlife filmmaking and conservation. }



nne Goddard ’12 still remembers the internship her senior year that took her to the middle of South Africa to film white rhinos while following an anti-poaching team. That experience with Africa Media resulted in a documentary, “Rhino Wars,” a short film on the realities of rhino poaching in that country and the men who risk their lives to protect these endangered animals from armed poachers. The film won the Best Student Film award at the Washington, D.C., and New York City Wildlife Conservation Film Festivals in 2012. Goddard, a communications assistant at the National Wildlife Federation in Washington, D.C., talked with The Magazine of Elon about her Elon education, the internship experience and her passion for wildlife filmmaking and conservation.

How did you decide to pursue an internship with Africa Media? I’ve always loved wildlife documentaries and my dream as a child was to be the female version of David Attenborough. One day, a friend posted a link to the internship on my Facebook wall. I definitely had my reservations about applying because it was in South Africa—I would be going alone and Elon

did not have a record of any of its students applying or working for the organization. Nevertheless, I took the risk and applied. What was your experience like in South Africa? It was one of the best months of my life. Within four weeks, I had cage dived with great white sharks, walked with lions, made friends with people from five different continents and spent many nights out in the bush under the night sky. I was the only film intern for the month, but I was there with a few wildlife photography interns and about 20 shark research interns from all over the world. It was really incredible to meet so many people who were just as passionate about wildlife as I am. How did your internship and documentary experience inspire you to pursue a career related to wildlife conservation? This internship really solidified my passion for preserving the world’s wildlife. There are so many issues facing wildlife these days like poaching, climate change and habitat degradation. We are losing our biodiversity at an unprecedented rate and being out there in the bush really made me realize how important it is to preserve nature for future generations to enjoy.

How did your years at Elon help prepare you to produce “Rhino Wars” and lead you to a career at the National Wildlife Federation? Without my Digital Media Convergence experience I probably would have never gotten the internship. That class really provided the skills and understanding of film I needed. Over the years, I have to say that my strategic communications degree from Elon has always given me that extra edge when I have gone to apply for internships and jobs. A communications degree from Elon is worth its weight in gold in the public relations field. Do you have any plans to continue doing work in the documentary film industry? In my dream world, I would love to continue doing wildlife film, but it’s an incredibly tough industry. A majority of the time, a wildlife filmmaker is spending more than three to four years filming in an extremely remote location. It’s also incredibly expensive and the job opportunities are sparse. It’s a tough life, but I am going to try to make another wildlife documentary in the near future.

To read an extended interview and watch “Rhino Wars,” go to

SPRING 2014  39

#ElonDay! Elon helped me hone my leadership skills. Assistant Director of a nonprofit today. Long live Elon!! — @kead10


REMEMBER Students, alumni, parents and friends showed their love for Elon through social media on Founders Day as the university celebrated its 125th anniversary. Here are some of the images and messages they shared using the #ElonDay hashtag.

Thankful for all the people that make #Elon the #Elon that we love! 125 years young! Happy Birthday Elon! — @alexnlake

Thanks @elonuniversity & @HeadPhoenix for always making me feel that my ideas were heard & valued. #ElonDay #ElonAlum —


Can’t tell you how proud I am to be a graduate. Cheers to 125 more ... #ElonDay — @WesDurham

Happy 125th @elonuniversity! Here’s to many more! #ElonDay —

@ lauren_d_emery

Happy 125th Birthday @elonuniversity! I couldn’t have loved my four years of college any more #ElonDay — @NTenThereWere3

Celebrating #ElonDay where I met my future husband, two of my bridesmaids, and memories that will last a lifetime — @sbutters210

125 years #ElonDay #Elon and going strong! #Elon forever! —


Office of Alumni Engagement PO Box 398 Elon, NC 27244 Toll Free: (877) 784-3566 Change Service Requested

{ Students dance, laugh and toss colorful powdered paint as Elon celebrates Holi, a Hindu holiday that marks the arrival of spring and the triumph of good over evil. To see more photos from the event, visit }

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