As undergraduate CEL Student Scholars working with the Center for Engaged Learning, we often are asked what our roles entail. Both in the context of the research itself, as well as in our partnerships, this collaborative leadership team was developed to bring student voices to the center of the research seminars. The initial cohorts discussed Forming an Effective and Meaningful Partnership in an earlier blog post, and we’re providing an updated response here.

The CEL Student Scholar program is a cohorted experience. While each research seminar works with only two of us, all the CEL Student Scholars meet weekly during the summer to discuss partnership and to collaborate on strategies for our partnerships with seminar participants/teams.

We applied for our CEL Student Scholar positions in the spring of our first-year, and since accepting the position, we’ve read background scholarship on our seminar topics (e.g., conditions for meaningful learning, work-integrated learning, mentoring). But our scholarly preparation is not the only perspective we contribute to the research seminars.

The expertise that we (collectively) bring to the seminar and seminar participants in these partnerships includes (but is not limited to)…

  • Various high school experiences: magnet, private, public
  • Attendance at a private liberal arts college: online, hybrid, and in person
  • Various majors and minors: psychology, education, journalism, cinema and television arts, political science, exercise science, Spanish, communications
  • Past experiences with partnership: research mentorship, student advisory board 
  • Work experiences: digital communications and editorial internship with a higher education organization, international communications internship, on-campus student jobs (Satellite library in School of Education, Emerging Journalists Program, Registrar)
  • Community service and activism: tutoring in local community, new student orientation, religious-oriented community service, protesting, student coordinator for Alamance Girls in Motion
  • Participation in student organizations and fellows/scholars programs: living learning communities (service, communications, leadership), Greek life, Phoenix Leaders, Elon News Network, Cinelon (student production company), University Innovation Fellows, Lumen Scholar, Odyssey Program, EFFECT feminist, Communications Fellow, Intersect Conference 
  • Global engagement: Study abroad experience (Language, culture, and ecotourism in Costa Rica – 3 weeks; semester in Sorrento, Italy; Communications in Florida – 3 weeks); Planned experiences in Florence (Fall semester), New Zealand (3 weeks), London (3 weeks), and Italy (1 week research experience)
  • Languages: English, Spanish
  • Geographic Location / “Home”: North Carolina, New Jersey, California 
  • Identities: Immigrant, LGBTQIA, first gen, Catholic, Jewish, women
  • Research experiences/ presentations: Elon University Spring Undergraduate Research Forum (SURF), Elon University Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE), International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL) Conference 2022, Elon University Center for Engaged Learning Conference 2021, Board meeting – Burlington, NC, Spoken on Limed Podcast- Teaching with a Twist 2022 & 2023, Elon University Center for Engaged Learning Blog Posts

In addition to bringing these areas of expertise to our partnerships, as undergraduate students immersed in an educational context, we are in a learning mindset. Therefore we are eager and ready to learn in collaboration with our seminar partners.

Sophie Miller is the 2021-2024 CEL Student Scholar. Gianna Smurro and Annelise Weaver are the 2022-2025 CEL Student Scholars. Azul Bellot and Tiffanie Grant are the 2023-2026 CEL Student Scholars. The Student Scholars are collaborating with participants in the 2020-2023 research seminar on (Re)Examining Conditions for Meaningful Learning Experiences, the 2022-2024 research seminar on Work-Integrated Learning, and the 2023-2025 research seminar on Mentoring Meaningful Learning Experiences. Learn more about the current student scholars.

How to Cite this Post

Weaver, Annelise, Azul Bellot, Gianna Smurro, Sophie Miller, and Tiffanie Grant. 2023. “Through the Eyes of a Student: Expertise we Bring.” Center for Engaged Learning (blog), Elon University. June 18, 2023.