Elon College acknowledged the excellence of members of the college and employees of their service to the college and the group at its annual awards luncheon on Wednesday.
Elon college and employees members gathered in Alumni Fitness center for the occasion, which additionally included recognition of workers for years-of-service milestones and particular recognitions of school and employees members who’re retiring this tutorial yr.
The celebration got here as Elon prepares to conclude one other tutorial yr, with exams for undergraduates to start on Thursday, Could 12, and undergraduate graduation to be held on Friday, Could 20.
“It has been fairly a run this yr, however we made it,” President Connie Ledoux E book informed the a whole lot of school and employees gathered in Alumni Fitness center for the awards luncheon. “Job effectively accomplished, Elon. This yr every single day, in so some ways, all of you do the proper issues. You do no matter it takes to satisfy our mission to have and see and witness and cheer on scholar success, and I’m so proud and humbled by that dedication.”
Honored with awards from the college this yr have been Senior Lecturer in Non secular Research L.D. Russell, Affiliate Professor of Strategic Communications Vanessa Bravo, Affiliate Professor of Public Well being Research Stephanie Baker and Affiliate Professor of Anthropology Mussa Idris.
Daniels-Danieley Award for Excellence in Instructing
L.D. Russell, senior lecturer in non secular research
On the core of any increased schooling establishment – or any academic institution – is the connection between its academics and its college students. L.D. Russell, a senior lecturer in non secular research, who “claims and inhabits the position of instructor,” one colleague wrote, has been named because the recipient of the Daniels-Danieley Award for Excellence in Instructing for the 2021-22 tutorial yr.
“We persistently hear from college students that LD facilitates life-changing mental alternatives, fashions mental values and the enjoyment of inquiry, fosters respect for range and conjures up them to assume deeply about troublesome topics together with faith, class, race, gender, nationality and politics,” a gaggle of colleagues wrote on Russell’s behalf.
Russell has taught at Elon since 1993, specializing in areas of world religions and cultures. He additionally serves as the college co-leader for the Sacred Area in France Winter Time period Program in Paris and Montpellier and chair of the Residentially Linked School Subcommittee of the International Neighborhood Affiliation.
Russell’s efforts to make a significant reference to college students go far past the classroom. Creating participating and judgment-free areas, giving time to essentially the most outspoken of scholars to essentially the most reserved, is a fame that Russell has constructed throughout his almost 30 years at Elon.
“Within the spring of 2021, I struggled with my psychological well being. So, when registering for fall programs, each of my advisors really helpful that I take LD’s class,” one present scholar wrote. “On the primary day of sophistication, it was clear that LD prioritized well-being and group over every part else. On a private degree, LD has change into a trusted teacher, mentor and pal throughout my final yr as a university scholar.
“LD is somebody who dedicates his life to the mental and private growth of others. He’s a selfless, type and empathetic one that I’m honored to know and proceed to study from,” that scholar added.
His inspiration and encouragement are usually not restricted to the scholars he’s taught however the complete Elon group – which is exemplified by his essay, “To Soar Once more,” written in the course of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to encourage college students and alumni throughout such troublesome occasions.
Planning to start his phased retirement subsequent yr, Russell has amassed a plethora of recognitions in his three a long time of instructing, together with however not restricted to the 2018 Kathleen Connolly-Weinert Chief of the Yr Award by the Nationwide Board of Theta Alpha Kappa, the 2016 Gerald Francis School Member of the Yr Award by the Elon Pupil Authorities Affiliation and the 2008 Most Influential Professor Award by Sigma Phi Epsilon.
At present, Russell is engaged on a ebook, tentatively titled “Into the Mystic,” which explores the assorted cultural manifestations of faith within the historical past of rock-and-roll.
“In the event you may understand how a lot spending time with college students within the classroom and out … has enriched my life, I truthfully really feel just like the richest man on this planet,” Russell mentioned as he accepted the Daniels-Danieley Award. “I wish to dedicate this award to my college students. Once I see potential college students and their mother and father … one of many issues I say to them is Elon is a spot the place desires come true.”
Russell is the fiftieth recipient of the award established by President Emeritus J. Earl Danieley ‘46 and his spouse, Verona Daniels Danieley, in honor of their mother and father.
Distinguished Scholar Award
Affiliate Professor Vanessa Bravo, chair of the Division of Strategic Communications
Affiliate Professor Vanessa Bravo is a premier scholar within the fields of transnational communications and public relations, and chair of Elon’s Division of Strategic Communications. Her analysis is concentrated on how the governments in nations akin to Mexico, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Colombia use strategic communications to ascertain and preserve mutually helpful relationships with their diaspora communities, significantly these in the USA.
Bravo has constructed a robust, constant and high-quality report of analysis since becoming a member of Elon in 2011 that contributes to a higher understanding of how the bonds between governments and diaspora teams are created, fortified, and in some instances, broken.
“I care so much about my analysis and I care so much in regards to the people who find themselves the main focus of my analysis,” Bravo mentioned as she acquired the Distinguished Scholar Award. “Despite the fact that it’s not tremendous mainstream, a spot like Elon acknowledges that it’s necessary and I so recognize this.”
Given the connections that many migrants from Latin America to the USA retain with their residence nations, Bravo has examined how residence governments have benefitted from the financial help of diaspora communities and the flexibility of those communities to supply legitimacy and political backing to these residence governments. She has explored how diaspora communities can function casual ambassadors of the house authorities, and the way they will additionally harm the connection between residence and host nations.
In fall 2021, Bravo and Maria De Moya from DePaul College printed the co-edited, peer-reviewed ebook “Latin American Diasporas in Public Diplomacy” that presents case research of public diplomacy efforts involving diaspora communities both as supporters or adversaries of their residence governments. It’s the first of its kind targeted on diasporas from Latin America and brings collectively the work of a group of Latin American students most of whom are members of diaspora communities.
Bravo views her analysis as supporting themes throughout the college’s Boldly Elon strategic plan round range and international engagement.
“Actually, the lens of worldwide engagement and variety interconnects all my skilled exercise, and this lens additionally connects my analysis to my instructing and my mentoring at Elon,” Bravo says. “My analysis can also be related to my private expertise of being an immigrant, particularly a Latina immigrant to the USA, and it affords me the particular benefit of contributing to Elon as a school member who has the tutorial and the experiential understanding of the migrant expertise and of the Latino expertise.”
In a letter supporting Bravo’s nomination for the award, an Elon colleague wrote that Bravo’s analysis report “is consultant of a prolific analysis stream that has cemented a global fame as a public relations scholar specializing in Latin America and DEI points. Collectively, these endeavors level to a scholar who’s attaining excellence in analysis and whose work instantly helps the Elon mission of ‘integrating studying throughout disciplines and placing data into observe.’”
Alongside together with her 2021 ebook, “Latin American Diasporas in Public Diplomacy,” Bravo has printed 12 peer-reviewed journal articles, eight ebook chapters and two invited ebook opinions since becoming a member of Elon. She has introduced 38 occasions on the preeminent conferences in her discipline, has acquired two “high paper awards” and has introduced 14 occasions as an invited panelist at conferences and tutorial classes.
A colleague from one other establishment notes in a letter of help for her nomination that Bravo’s work has influenced not solely the views of researchers in the USA however of many others throughout Latin America. Bravo’s analysis and 2021 ebook “fill a big void within the public diplomacy literature due to its emphasis on diaspora teams,” the colleague notes. “Dr. Bravo represents an emergent class of students and academics who got here from Latin America to the USA to additional their schooling and profession development. She belongs to a group of students who’ve devoted their tutorial careers to documenting their areas of specialization from a Latin American perspective.”
After finishing her doctorate in mass communications on the College of Florida, Bravo joined the college at Elon as an assistant professor of strategic communications in 2011. She was promoted to affiliate professor in 2017 and has served as chair of her division since 2020.
One other colleague pointed to Bravo’s work as a mentor and the affect that has had on her college students, friends and researchers within the discipline. “Dr. Bravo has confirmed herself to be not solely an distinctive researcher however a dedicated mentor who generously has collaborated with college students, practitioners and school members alike,” the colleague says. “She all the time makes herself accessible to supply rising students with recommendation and suggestions, and he or she has organized and took part in a number of panels that present alternatives for different underrepresented students to advance their analysis.”
Bravo is the twenty third recipient of the Distinguished Scholar Award, which acknowledges a school member whose analysis has earned peer commendation and respect and who has made important contributions to his or her discipline of examine.
Periclean Award for Civic Engagement and Social Duty
Stephanie Baker, affiliate professor of public well being research
An affiliate professor of public well being research, Stephanie Baker has persistently demonstrated her dedication to antiracism organizing and community-based participatory analysis in her instructing, service and analysis since becoming a member of Elon in 2015.
“My mentors on this work couldn’t even put the phrases ‘race and racism’ within the papers they wrote, within the grants they wrote or within the lessons they train. So to have the ability to come a era later and to be acknowledged for my work is actually gratifying,” Baker mentioned as she acquired the Periclean Award. “I’m indebted to my group companions who maintain me accountable each single day … as a result of they actually make me higher. I wouldn’t have the ability to do that work with out them.”
Nominated for the Periclean Award by a gaggle that features present and former college students, colleagues and group companions, Baker is lifted up as one who has prioritized relationship growth with the broader Alamance County group, main these relationships to be strengthened and solidified over time. “She is a catalyst for change in addressing and eradicating structural boundaries to good well being that always end in well being inequities/disparities for BIPOC (Black, indigenous and other people of coloration) group members,” the nominators write. “That is the essence of civic engagement and social accountability — strengthening relationships and exhibiting up if you end up known as on.”
A present scholar who Baker has mentored throughout her time at Elon factors to the position she performed in encouraging her to assume extra critically about public well being points impacting the local people. “Dr. Baker is likely one of the most civically engaged folks I’ve ever met,” the coed writes. “She thinks critically about group points and always considers her positionality and encourages her college students to do the identical. She has helped me to create strong group partnerships in a accountable approach whereas using features of Neighborhood Primarily based Participatory Analysis. Dr. Baker has guided me to use my coursework to real-world conditions in the local people, and I’m grateful to have such a tremendous mentor that helps me to remain grounded in actual public well being points.”
Baker joined Elon after receiving her doctorate in well being conduct from the Gillings College of International Public Well being on the College of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. She quickly agreed to function a member of the Advisory Council to handle racial inequities in toddler mortality in Alamance County. That position and her advocacy led members of the group to prepare the Alamance Racial Fairness Alliance, which now hosts quarterly workshops and coaching classes.
Baker additionally requires her analysis college students to attend racial fairness coaching. “She understands that it’s a critically necessary step to assist them conduct their analysis with a contextual understanding of the historic and coverage elements that undergird racial well being disparities,” the nominating group famous of their letter of help. “College students have been reworked by their engagement with the workshop and lots of discover methods to enter native organizing efforts because of this.”
With Assistant Professor Yanica Faustin, Baker is the co-founder of the Well being Fairness and Racism Lab, or H.E.R. Lab. The initiative’s mission is to advance the physique of data that illustrates racism as the basis trigger to well being inequities and domesticate motion towards undoing racism and bettering inhabitants well being. Its three focal areas are analysis, capability constructing and advocacy/motion.
She is a board member for Wholesome Alamance and was invited to be a part of the group on account of her experience in racial fairness evaluation. She is at present on the manager management group of the board. Baker serves on the Alamance Restoration Mortgage Oversight Committee, a gaggle created by the Alamance Chamber of Commerce as a technique to improve entry to small enterprise loans for communities of coloration.
As COVID-19 vaccines started being distributed, Baker labored with the Alamance County Well being Division to assist deal with the underrepresentation of Black and brown communities at vaccine clinics. She convened a gathering of local people stakeholders and went to work creating partnerships and commitments of organizations to prioritize the necessary wants of communities of coloration.
“She is an amazing voice for racial fairness on this area,” her nominators write.
Baker is the twentieth recipient of the Periclean Award for Civic Engagement and Social Duty, which is given every year to a member of Elon’s college or employees whose group service exemplifies the beliefs of Venture Pericles.
Steven and Patricia Home Excellence in Mentoring Award
Mussa Idris, affiliate professor of anthropology
Cultivating a “constellation of mentors” is a key component to the Elon expertise. The college has acknowledged Mussa Idris, affiliate professor of anthropology, because the recipient of the Steven and Patricia Home Excellence in Mentoring Award.
“Dr. Idris is likely one of the finest college mentors Elon College has ever had. Ever,” one colleague wrote. “He not solely has a sustained report of dedicated, passionate, beneficiant and high-quality mentoring ever since he began working full-time at Elon in 2014, however the outcomes of that mentoring are merely excellent.”
It’s laborious to refute that when Idris has mentored two Lumen Prize winners, two Management Prize winners and gained the School Excellence in Mentoring Award in 2019 from the Elon Faculty, Faculty of the Arts & Sciences, together with a plethora of different distinctions.
Idris started his Elon profession in 2012, after spending eight years on the College of Florida as a instructing affiliate in anthropology and the establishment’s Heart for American Research. Idris grew to become a full-time college member in 2014, instructing undergraduate lessons in anthropology, sociology and African research.
Throughout that point, he has additionally labored with a wide range of native organizations together with the Heart for New North Carolinians and the North Carolina African Providers Coalition, each in Greensboro.
“With out Dr. Idris’ deliberate emphasis on a student-led mentoring strategy … I strongly imagine that I might not have skilled the quantity of non-public progress and confidence in my analysis capability,” a former scholar of Idris wrote. “His mentoring not solely formed my analysis however all the time formed my ethnographic lens and reflexivity as a researcher – two issues that I proceed to hold with me and develop since I graduated from Elon.”
He’s at present doing ethnographic analysis with newly resettled refugees from Sub-Saharan African nations in Greensboro, North Carolina with a give attention to resettlement experiences and micro-enterprise initiatives.
“I’m not the one scholar who has deeply valued their time with him and with whom he has saved up,” one other scholar wrote in help of Idris for the Home Award. “In a great world, each scholar would have an advocate, mentor, pal and instructor like Dr. Idris: somebody with a robust set of values, who’s an encourager and a associate in thought. It has been my honor and privilege to have him as a instructor and mentor.”
“I’m simply humbled. I’ve realized a lot from Elon, from my division and the people who I’ve met right here,” Idris mentioned in entrance of his colleagues as he acquired the Home Award. “I do know this recognition can go to so a lot of you, and I simply wish to say thanks very a lot.”
Idris is the third college member to be honored with the Steven and Patricia Home Excellence in Mentoring Award. The award is supported by a present from Government Vice President Steven Home and his spouse, Patricia, to have a good time excellence in scholar mentoring, one of many markers of high quality that has fueled Elon’s fame because the nationwide chief in engaged, experiential studying.