“I was kind of nervous about having a lack of diversity with gender, that it would like close off perspectives, but I’ve realized that that’s not the case," Elon sophomore Anya Cocowitch said. "It’s pretty cool to have an all female cohort.”

The Periclean Scholars program is a three-year experience offered by Elon for a cohort of selected students. Each cohort works with a foreign country of choice on a long-term service project. Students can apply their freshman year for the program, and the newest cohort, the class of 2022, looks a bit different from other years. 

The Elon Periclean Scholars Class of 2022 is all women.  

Cocowitch and and fellow sophomore Audrey Sears are both Periclean Scholars. Sears said she was shocked to find out her cohort was all-female but said the cohort is diverse in other ways. 

“We have a lot of public health, policy," Sears said. "We also have communications, English, Spanish and many other different language double majors.”

The Periclean Scholars take one class together every semester starting their freshman year. The course they are taking right now is taught by their faculty mentor Amanda Tapler. Tapler said historically the program has been majority female. In the class of 2021 cohort, there are only two males.

“I do think some of that’s sort of by the nature of timing," Tapler said. "First year women may be in the place to be able to apply and think about a three-year cohorted experience.”

As the faculty mentor, Tapler will lead the cohort to Ghana. 

Cocowitch said the cohort is currently reaching out to small local groups and non-profit organizations in the African country to start their project.

However, those helping the 2022 cohort aren’t all female. 

“We do have the help of a TA this year who’s male from another year, so it’s nice to have his input and everything," Sears said. 

But for now, Sears and Cocowith said the group is enjoying lunch and coffee dates as they prepare to make many trips to Ghana together. 

If you’re a freshman and interested in applying to be a Periclean Scholar, the application is currently open for the 2023 cohort and closes in early March.