Ruth Cruz

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NEWS 5/21/24 11:41pm

Class of 2024 Baccalaureate ceremony emphasizes diversity in community

The class of 2024 gathered Under The Oaks to celebrate their Elon University achievements at the 2024 Numen Lumen Baccalaureate ceremony on May 21. It was there where seniors participated in the annual tradition of lighting candles and receiving oaks saplings. Senior Jillian Shor shared a powerful sentiment from the Jewish community during the event — a prayer known as the Shehechiyanu. This is a Jewish tradition that explores blessings and gratitude. Shor said this was a great way to show her appreciation for the Elon community, which has helped her to build new friendships, embrace her identity in the Jewish community and become the best version of herself.

NEWS 4/26/24 1:28pm

Elon Dining celebrates Earth Week with Earth Festival

Elon University Dining Hall celebrated Earth Week with its annual Earth Festival to highlight important aspects of the environment. The community came together for an afternoon of fun and dining services collaborated with local vendors and student organizations. Elon students had the opportunity to enjoy live music, local food and pet farm animals. The Earth Festival took place on Medallion Plaza on April 25. The event also featured environmental education and entertainment to inform Elon students about the Earth. Tables were set up with information on how to manage students’ ecological footprint and minimize resource consumption.

LIFESTYLE 4/21/24 3:56pm

Élan Vocal Jazz Ensemble performs classics of the jazz and swing eras at Elon University

Open the curtains and set the stage for Élan students to prepare a beautiful ensemble of unique melodies. Élan’s powerful performance reflected student talent and spirit.  Élan Vocal Jazz Ensemble presented “Songs of Love” a mix of jazz and swing classics of the 40’s and 50’s eras. The group performed a fusion of musical elements from the past to present. Musicians collaborated with students on April 18 at McCrary Theatre to explore swing-style music. 

LIFESTYLE 4/11/24 12:35pm

Elon University Percussion Ensemble examines music from international composers

The Percussion Ensemble Spring Concert explored a beautiful mix of sounds from around the world. Students performed a variety of music from international composers on April 10 in Yeager Recital Hall. The Percussion instruments included rattles, cymbals, gongs, hand drums, shakers, marimbas and more. Ensemble director and music instructor Isaac Pyatt focused on the complexities of sound from various instruments to create harmony. He said a talented musician can alter any object to create beautiful melodies. Pyatt said he hopes he can transform student experiences and enhance their musical journey through percussion instruments.

LIFESTYLE 4/6/24 11:05am

Holi celebration educates students about Hindu culture, spreads awareness for diverse religions

Elon University’s Truitt Center celebrated the end of winter and the warmth of spring with the Holi Festival of Colors at Speaker’s Corner on April 5. Holi represents hope and new beginnings in the Hindu culture. The spring festival includes colored powder — or gulal — or colored water. Holi aims to commemorate connection and companionship, as well as bring the community together to acknowledge diverse cultures. The festival also teaches students about India, Hinduism, and traditional stories reflected in the celebration. University Chaplain and Dean of Multifaith Engagement Kirstin Boswell encourages students to participate in these events, which offer opportunities to learn about diverse cultures.

LIFESTYLE 3/19/24 12:15pm

Student art gallery shapes future artists, promotes diverse perspectives at Elon University

The annual Juried Student Exhibition will be open through April 18 in Gallery 406 at Arts West. The student gallery featured 28 unique pieces that reflected concepts of identity, race, and community. A Juried Exhibition is an artwork gallery and competition that selects the best expressive art in a showcase. Chair of the art department Samantha DiRosa collaborated with students in the art program to promote the gallery. She said the gallery was a student effort that provided career opportunities for students to gain experiences in their field.

LIFESTYLE 3/14/24 11:43am

Juxtapositions, Asian American Composers challenge historical European stereotypes

Elon’s Department of Music collaborated with Soprano Jennifer Lien to present Juxtapositions: European Orientalism, Asian America, & Asia in Whitley Auditorium on March 13. The program explored the stereotypes portrayed by European Musical Orientalism and created a platform for Asian American voices. The performance emphasized the challenges Asian women endured under European colonialism. Soprano Jennifer Lien and Pianist Douglass Jurs presented a beautiful sentiment of Asian culture within historical contexts. Lien is known for her presence in contemporary and chamber music. As a Classical Western European Opera singer, Lien said she noticed a lack of Asian voices in her studies of European composers.

LIFESTYLE 3/9/24 1:10pm

Elon Performing Arts explores complexities of identity

Elon Performing Arts students explored the beauty of the spring season with their Spring Dance Concert in McCrary Theatre on March 8. The performance focused on family and diversity within the constructs of society. The concert also allowed students to create a unique style and explore their passion for dance. Senior Isabella Sessa said she began her dancing career at a young age when her mother signed her up for dance classes. Sessa said she fell in love with the beauty and creativity that exemplifies the art of dance.

NEWS 3/8/24 11:39am

Rocket Phoenix provides rocketry education for students

When Freshman Murilo Ferreira Lopes founded Rocket Phoenix in February, his goal was to educate students about rocket building. Lopes said rocketry has always been one of his interests at Elon. He sought a place to explore his fascination with rockets. Lopes is the president of Rocket Phoenix — an organization that allows students to build, design and launch rockets. He said that he collaborated with his physics professor to jumpstart the program. The organization plans to launch its rockets March 21. To contact members of Rocket Phoenix, visit their page on PhoenixConnect.

LIFESTYLE 2/26/24 9:56am

Active Minds challenges stigma around mental health disorders at Elon University

As a mental health advocate, freshman Alyssa Artabane arrived in Elon searching for a community that reflects her values. In fall 2023, she decided to join Active Minds — an organization on campus that promotes mental health awareness. Artabane said Active Minds creates a positive environment for students interested in mental health. Members prioritize building personal relationships and supporting each other. Sophomore Emily Dann, the event coordinator of Active Minds, said the organization has many events throughout the semester that promote mental health awareness, such as a suicide prevention walk at 4 p.m. on April 21.

LIFESTYLE 2/25/24 6:22pm

Elon University music department promotes passion for jazz

Elon’s Jazz Festival launched a new program for middle and high school students to explore the history of Jazz. Musicians gave students an opportunity to enhance their skills in the jazz field. Director of Jazz Studies Alex Heitlinger is head of the recruiting Jazz program at Elon. He said the program allows students to gain new perspectives about Jazz education. Heitlinger hopes these experiences will inspire students to pursue a jazz profession. The Elon Jazz Ensemble performed in McCrary Theatre on Feb. 24, having been mentored by award-winning artist Kris Johnson.

LIFESTYLE 2/19/24 11:11am

Abusua dance concert at Elon University explores Black narrative

Elon University’s Performing Arts department presented “Abusua” in honor of Black History Month. The performers reflected a narrative of the struggles within the Black community. They incorporated realistic experiences that captivated the audience with a mixture of contemporary and Jazz. The dedicated and passionate performers explored the beauty of Black culture through traditional African dance at McCrary Theater on Feb. 16 and 17. They used the term Abusua to represent their idea of family, according to artistic director Keshia Wall. This was a recurrent theme throughout the performance which reflected their values as a diverse group.

LIFESTYLE 9/23/23 7:31pm

International Tango Obsession explores the world of Spanish culture at Elon University

The Camarada Tango Quartet explored a world of passion, mystery, and beauty in McCrary Theatre on Sept. 14. A powerful and smooth melody entranced the audience as the quartet dove into Latino Culture from Buenos Aires, Argentina and brought it to Elon University. The passionate tango dance was a mysterious obsession with intricate movements. The group drew attention with a jarring mix of seductive and smooth notes. The Camarada Tango Quartet was founded in 2020 to expand the complex dynamic of the Spanish tango.

LIFESTYLE 2/5/23 12:37pm

Elon University Surtal creates community on campus

When Elon University junior Shriya Baru joined Surtal, she hoped to meet new people and explore her Indian culture. Surtal helped Shriya establish connections with others who share similar beliefs. Surtal is Elon’s first Bollywood-fusion dance club and began in the fall of 2021. The club gives members the opportunity to learn about various Indian dance festivals. Members have performed at the Festival of Lights and Luminaries, the Festival of Colors and World Dance Day. 

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