CFL Team: Year in Review

As we start wrapping up a year’s worth of work at the Center for Leadership, the 2014-2015 CFL team took some time and a few words to reflect on our progress. From “collaborative” to “impactful,” here are some of the things we took away from our year at the CFL.

Interested in applying for any of the CFL team positions you see below for Jan. – Dec. 2015? Click here for more info and the application.

CFL Team at Org Fair

Tess Duncan, Senior Director
– Impactful, never boring, and created friendships.

Michael Spencer, Senior Director
– Exceptional. I have been incredibly fortunate to work with some of the brightest, most dedicated and most talented students on Elon’s campus!

Christine Fortner, Fellows Director
– Challenges me to think deeper and be creative.

Emily Petersen, LEAD Program Director
– Great collaboration
– Expanded my network
– The opportunity of working alongside of exceptional leaders in and of itself made me a better leader!

Sara Elgart, Workshop Coordinator
– An incredible opportunity to grow and develop in leadership and myself as an individual

Kelly August, LEAD Program Director
– Growth

Tim Sanford, LEAD Program Director
– Developmental

Ben Bridges, Community Director for LEAD Program
– Passion into Action

Alex Hunter, Org Development Director
– More than rewarding. I had the opportunity to meet and establish relationships that I would not have received otherwise!

Dan Murphy, Org Development DirectorCFL Team Collaborating
– Collaborative. I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate consistently with gifted leaders on Elon’s campus.

Leena Dahal, Intersect Conference Coordinator
– Being on the CFL team has made me realize that when passionate people come together, opportunities to be successful are boundless.

Madeline Monaco, Marketing Director
– Eye-opening. Even in social media management and creating print materials, I learned so much about my capacity to be a leader.

Megan Mungall, Marketing Director
– This is my 3rd semester on the CFL Team. I have been encouraged, empowered and challenged into becoming a better leader and a better person. But the one word I would use to describe the CFL is family.

Sean Barry, Special Events Coordinator
– Incredible. The staff on the CFL team helps me grow so much not only as a leader, but in so many facets of life. The team creates a community that is unlike any other on campus, and I could not be happier than to be a part of it.

CFL Team on Retreat





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LEADSTRONG: Leaving the Bubble

LEADSTRONG Week has focused on thinking outside the bubble in terms of leadership.
But once you’re out of the bubble, how will can we continue these ideas? CFL Team Member and Senior Tim Sanford gave us some insight on what he’s learned about leadership since coming to Elon and how he will continue to use his skills upon

How have you been involved in leadership at Elon?

My first involvement with the CFL was Adventures in Leadership the summer before my freshman year.  I really enjoy the outdoors, so I found the idea of combining activities such as white water rafting, rock climbing, repelling and hiking with leadership to be very appealing.

I am currently involved in the LEAD Program as both a participant and a student director.  I have also participated in the Life Entrepreneurship Program.

What has been your favorite aspect of the CFL programs you’ve been involved with?

My favorite aspect of the CFL has been the opportunity to surround myself with incredibly talented and motivated students.  I firmly believe that those you associate yourself with have a profound impact on how you grow as a person, and I have found students who are involved with the CFL to have a very positive impact on my personal growth.

Do you consider yourself a born leader or is it something you’ve grown into?

I believe that every person is born with a varying degree of natural leadership ability but that becoming a true leader is an evolutionary process.  No matter how talented or successful you are as a leader, there is always room for improvement and room to grow.

Who is your favorite leader and why?

My favorite leader is Theodore Roosevelt. After reading River of Doubt (a book I highly
recommend), which chronicles Roosevelt’s expeditions along an unchartered and incredibly
dangerous tributary of the Amazon River, I gained immense respect for his grit, determination, willingness to embrace challenges, ability to capture the attention of a room, motivational skills and his overall toughness of character.

How do you use leadership in everyday life?

I try my best to use leadership every day to maximize the potential of those around me.  This can take many forms, occur in varying settings and have both minor and major impacts. Leadership seems to have obtained a lofty idealistic image, but I believe that if you are inspiring those around you to be better than you are leading.

How will your experiences affect your future?

After going through a rigorous selection process for my previous internship and eventual full time job in finance, I can say that I have never had an interview that has not touched on my involvement in the CFL and the LEAD Program. Interviewers are always looking for leadership qualities in candidates, and having my experience in the LEAD program and an appropriate vocabulary to elaborate on the personal growth I have experienced through it was invaluable during my interviews.

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LEADSTRONG: Advice for Creativity in Leadership

Students like Jensen have both taught and innate tools to be great leaders. We wanted to take a look at the people who cultivate these tools. The ones who tap students in whom they see leadership potential. We turned to none other than Associate Professor Carol Smith of Health and Human Performance. Here are here thoughts on leadership:

While thinking about my leadership roles on campus, my first thoughts are, “Am I being the best leader that I can for my students?” I am the mentor for the class of 2017 Leadership Fellows, the first faculty asked to be in this role. I am also the faculty mentor for the class of 2017 Periclean Scholars. That role is more defined; but I still ask myself if I am leading them efficiently and effectively.

What does being a leader mean? A question I asked students in the interview process for the Periclean Scholar was, “What is the difference between a leader-leader, leader-follower, follower-leader, and follower-follower. And, which are you?” I was less concerned with their definition of the four constructs, and more interested in their interpretations of where they fell, and HOW they described the four.

Individuals frequently “see” the leader as someone who stands in front of the rest; answering questions, delegating responsibilities and often times making the decisions. However, I find that I “lead” best from the back. I want my students to make decisions for themselves, gain knowledge to make those decisions, and be comfortable in that decision making process. I don’t believe we can all be leader-leaders all the time. We need to know when to step back and let someone with a better skill set take the lead. We need to know when our proficiencies are the best for that situation and have the confidence to set forward.

I have been fortunate to have been one of the faculty mentors/advisors for Adventures in Leadership the last 6 years consecutively (2-3 years prior to that, but that was prior to the current structure of the program). In those 6 years, I have seen students step up and lead admirably. Watching the unfolding of the maturity and confidence of these young adults has been heartwarming. Another thing I admire is the creative process some of them have used in their leadership style. Many of these students have outstanding skill sets which will serve them commendably in the future.

My recommendation to you:

  • Find a leadership position on campus in which you can thrive.
  • Use your personality and ideas to make it your own.
  • Be creative in the ways in which you address the issues.
  • Be inspired in how you treat the people with whom you work.
  • Be imaginative in the ways you use your leadership abilities.
  • And, if in doubt – utilize your resources to make the situation the best it can be.

Carol is certainly using her personality and creativity to thrive in leadership as she pies Director of the CFL Steve Mencarini.

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LEADSTRONG: Creativity for Change

Making an impact is one of the benefits of becoming a leader and a reason why Tier III of the LEAD Program focuses on leading for change. When there is a problem that needs to be fixed, leaders will find out-of-the-box ways to solve the issue.

Elon Junior and Leadership Fellow Jensen Roll thought outside the Bubble by bringing his
non-profit, Helping Other People Eat (H.O.P.E.), to local North H.O.P.E. leadership teamCarolina businesses. Jensen told us, “As the president of H.O.P.E., I have been pushed to a new level of leadership where I not only have to lead my peers, but also professionals in the community that serve on the Board. This has given me a new understanding of how factors like age play into leadership.”

And with the help of the CFL, he was able to further his creativity and leadership skills by attending this year’s SOCAP Conference, the largest social impact investing conference in the world, in San Francisco.

At this conference Jensen was able to meet with Google, the Rockefeller Foundation and many other brilliant social entrepreneurs from around the world. This conference was not only an opportunity to learn, but also an exciting chance for Jensen to tell others about H.O.P.E.

Now, back at the Bubble, Jensen’s goal is to stay in touch with the people he met in San Francisco and to continue the discussion of scaling H.O.P.E.

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On Monday, we will be kicking off our annual LEADSTRONG Week! This year’s theme is all about thinking outside the “Bubble” in terms of leadership. Join us throughout the week for workshops and events, free stuff and social media content about using creativity in leadership, including stories on this blog about some of our campus’s prime leaders and their successes!

Keep an eye out around campus for in-ground signs and bags of candy and snap a photo! Share these photos, your favorite leadership quotes or photos of your favorite leaders on Twitter and Instagram with #LEADSTRONG2014 and #LeadOutsidetheBubble.



Like us on Facebook for more info and to stay up-to-date with all things leadership!

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Welcome Back from the CFL!

It’s hard to believe that it is August already! We are excited to welcome the Class of 2018 as well as welcome back the sophomores, juniors and seniors!

There will be lots of opportunities for students to get involved with the CFL!

Not signed up for the LEAD program yet? Come see us at the Org Fair on Friday September 5 on Young Commons.

Want to attend a free conference? Sign up for Intersect: Diversity and Leadership Conference on November 21-22nd.

In June, the CFL worked with the Alamance Chamber of Commerce to put on the Alamance Youth Leadership Academy (AYLA) Summer Institute. AYLA empowers youth by connecting civic engagement and leadership development. This summer, 84 students from 10 local middle schools came together to brainstorm the strengths of their schools and possible school improvement projects. Elon University senior Kerry Kurkjian coordinated the summer program and has served as the student director for three years. Elon students, alumni and interns served as facilitators and mentors for each school. For more information, read more on here.


In July, the CFL and Campus Rec took 55 incoming students to West Virginia as part of the Adventures in Leadership (AIL) first-year summer experience. Activities included hiking, camping, rock climbing and white-water rafting. For more info about the experience,  click here.


CFL staff members have been busy attending professional trainings this summer. Director of the CFL Steve Mencarini participated in the Social Justice Training Institute, a week-long experience for educators to enhance and refine their skills and competencies to create greater inclusion for all members of the campus community. Dana, the Associate Director of the CFL, attended PULSE (Perspective. Understanding. Leadership. Sustained. Exchange.), a retreat program designed to explore identity, leadership and inclusion through experiential activity and immersive dialogue. Additionally, staff members have been gearing up for LEAD workshops, the incoming class of Leadership Fellows, Organization Development programs and Intersect: Diversity and Leadership Conference.

We look forward to a great year in the CFL! Like us on Facebook for up-to-date info and follow us on Twitter to engage in leadership conversations!

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CFL T-Shirt Contest


The CFL is in the process of designing new t-shirts for each tier, and we need your help! Fill out this form with your favorite leadership quote. If your quote is chosen, you’ll win a t-shirt! It’s as simple as that!

As always, feel free to reach out to us with any questions at

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Monday Meeting: 2014 CFL Team (Part II)

“Real leaders are ordinary people with extraordinary determination.” – Unknown
Thanks to @mandapleezz for this week’s quote!

Last but not least, here is our final Monday Meeting post introducing the new CFL team. Thanks for checking in each Monday, and stay tuned for more updates from the CFL!

Alex Hunter

Name: Alex Hunter, Org Development Director
Year: First year
Hometown: Fairfax, VA
Favorite Candy: Anything chocolate
How I’m a Leader I lead by maximizing the strengths of others and using those individual skills to become successful as a team.


Name: Daniel Murphy, Org Development Director
Year: Sophomore
Hometown: Buffalo, NY
Favorite Leader: Nelson Mandela
How I’m a Leader 
I lead by encouraging and motivating others around me through taking initiative and never being afraid to fail.

Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 4.54.04 PM

Name: Britt Chertock, Print Marketing Director
Year: First year
Hometown: West Palm Beach, FL
Favorite Candy: Swedish Fish
How I’m a Leader Every day I wake up and remember that my actions can truly make a difference. I try and perform service and acts of kindness in the hopes that it will make someone’s day a little bit better. When I am able to inspire one person, and they continue to inspire others…then I know I a leader.


Name: Madeline Monaco, Social Media Marketing Director
Year: Junior
Hometown: New York, NY
Favorite Candy: Buncha Crunch
How I’m a Leader I am a leader by learning from my experiences and guiding others to make good choices and positive impacts.


Name: Sean Barry, Special Events Director
Year: Sophomore
Hometown: Newtown, PA
Favorite Candy: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
How I’m a Leader I believe that I am a leader by working on becoming a better one each and every day. I try my best to use my strengths so that I can focus my attention on things that I love to do and on things that I am good at. My goal is to encourage people to be happy with their work and the finish product after working with them.

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Monday Meeting: 2014 CFL Team (Part I)

“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” -Warren G. Bennis
Thanks to @shelbyallen25 for this week’s quote!

You’ve met our wonderful LEAD program directors and coordinators, but the CFL has other opportunities outside of the LEAD program. Here are the people who help make those things happen!


Name: Ashley Fowler, ICLP Phase IV Director
Year: Senior
Hometown: Mount Pleasant, NC
Favorite Candy: Twix
How are you a leader? I like to embody leadership by enabling others to act. I feel that I am at my strongest when I am able to empower others and help them recognize the potential that they have as individuals.


Name: Christine Fortner, Fellows Director
Year: Junior
Hometown: Charlottesville, VA
Favorite Cereal: Cheerios!
How are you a leader? I serve as a mentor to the young Leadership Fellows and help them find their place and potential at Elon.

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Name: Kerry Kurkjian, AYLA Student Coordinator
Year: Junior
Hometown: Mason, Ohio
Favorite Candy: Kit-Kats all the way!
How are you a leader? I don’t consider myself a leader based on any of the leadership positions I hold. I consider myself a leader when I see the positive impact I can have on others, especially regarding my younger sisters. When I can be a role model and mentor to my three younger sisters, I feel like the leader that I strive to be.
Name: Leena Dahal, Intersect Conference Coordinator
Year: I’m a first year student at Elon
Hometown: Kathmandu, Nepal
Favorite Leader: Winnie the Pooh
How are you a leader? I am motivated by stories; when I am passionate about a person, cause or an idea, I am immediately determined to make a change. I like to collect lessons from the past and apply them to my current commitments. I believe you can learn something new from every situation and so I do my best to make the most out of every opportunity. I value team work, dependability and dedication. I am excited to be on the CFL team as the Intersect Conference Coordinator!
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Monday Meeting: 2014 LEAD Program Directors and Coordinators

“Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to become better.” -Bill Bradley
Thanks to @alysonrleonard for this quote!

We have a great group of LEAD Program directors and coordinators who are so excited to help Elon students realize their full leadership potentials!


Name: Emily Peterson
Year: First year
Hometown: Columbia, MD
Favorite Cereal: Vanilla Almond Special K
How I’m a Leader: I lead by maximizing the strengths of the individuals I interact with so that together we can achieve success and accomplish our goals.


Name: Kelly August
Year: First year
Hometown: Kensington, MD
Favorite Candy: Twix
How I’m a Leader: I lead more by example than with my words. I try to take initiative more with my actions.


Name: Tim Sanford
Year: Junior
Hometown: Barrington, RI
Favorite Candy: Sour Patch Kids
How I’m a Leader: I lead by helping others to be successful.


Name: Ben Bridges, Community Director for LEAD Program
Year: First year
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
Favorite Cereal: Golden Grahams
How I’m a Leader: I lead by being adaptable. I try to keep options open and welcome new ideas in case the original  plan doesn’t quite work out. That way, things can continue to run smoothly!


Name: Sara Elgart, Workshops Coordinator
Year: First year
Hometown: Alpharetta, GA
Favorite Candy: Sour Patch Kids
How Are You a Leader? With all of my past experiences in leadership positions, I have learned how to work effectively with others, something I believe is the most important part of being a leader. As workshop coordinator for the LEAD Program, I communicate with many faculty members on campus as well as students, which allows me to share my passion for leadership with others. The opportunity to serve as a LEAD Program Director is one that I think will truly allow me to develop my leadership skills every day.

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