Bringing It

Bringing It #86: New Job Opportunity, Staff Farewell, & Summer Update

May 25, 2022

Dear friends,

As the Spring semester comes to a close, we hope you are taking joy and taking care of yourselves. It is a time for looking forward and back, and in this final Bringing It of the academic year, we do both. We announce a new opportunity to join BT2P’s Paradigm Project, say farewell to a staff colleague, provide an update about our summer plans, and—last but certainly not least—celebrate all students who are (and who aren’t yet) graduating.

A New Job Opportunity: Chief Storyteller for BT2P’s Paradigm Project

As you know, BT2P has launched an ambitious initiative, the Paradigm Project, aimed at advancing systemic change to make undergraduate education more equitable, engaged, and holistic. Working in partnership with other educators and change-makers, we will pursue this goal by braiding together integrative design, movement-building, and an effort to enlarge the current public narrative about the purposes and future of higher ed.

Now we seek a Chief Storyteller for the Paradigm Project. They will oversee communications strategy, public messaging, and storytelling for the project, publicizing its goals and values and amplifying models of positive change for both academic and public audiences. This is a full-time position, and it may be either campus-based at Elon University or hybrid with periodic visits to our Elon offices. For the fuller description of the Chief Storyteller position and the qualities we hope to find in a candidate, here is the posting on the Elon University job site: Feel free to contact David ([email protected]) with questions.

This is an unusual and exciting opportunity in an important effort for educational change. Please help us spread the word. The review of applications will begin June 30. Thank you!

Summer Updates & Engagement Opportunities

We’re excited to be participating in some professional development & community engagement opportunities this summer! Next month, BT2P staff members will be in attendance at The Bonner Network’s 2022 Summer Leadership Institute June 16 – 19 at The College of New Jersey and at the 2022 Civic Learning & Democratic Engagement Meeting taking place in Minneapolis, MN from June 21 – 24. We hope to see some familiar faces at these events, and look forward to making new friends and connecting with others who are working to improve higher education.

In addition to traveling some next month, we’ll also be changing office spaces on campus. With all of this upcoming movement, we anticipate Bringing It letters to go out about once a month over the summer. If you have news, updates, or opportunities that you would like to share with this community, please send those to Todd at [email protected].

Thank You, Kelly Jones

With the close of this academic year, Kelly Jones will be stepping down from their work as Communications and Public Outreach Coordinator for BT2P. Readers of Bringing It and our digital Newsletter and followers of our social media will know how capable and creative Kelly is. You may not know that they are also a trained librarian who brought order to our sometimes random communications practices and distilled them into organized guides. Even more important, Kelly has been a superb mentor for Gianna Smurro, our intern, and a voice for student needs and social justice in all our work. And did I mention their poetry and multi-media projects?

Thank you, Kelly, for your contributions to BT2P and the mix of organizational skill, funky playfulness, and passion for equity and inclusion you brought to our work. Good luck on the next journey.

Farewell From Kelly

As my contract with BT2P comes to an end, I appreciate this opportunity to reflect upon the past fifteen months of working within this community. Having joined BT2P in March of 2021 (when our host campus was much more dormant due to the pandemic), I’ve enjoyed writing to you every two weeks and connecting over email, social media, Zoom, and occasionally in-person. After a number of years working with libraries and non-profits, joining BT2P was a welcome opportunity to re-engage with the higher ed community to advocate for transformation in higher education. I was excited that some of BT2P’s priorities overlapped with areas of my prior work (such as equity and inclusion, student well-being, and community engagement), and I’ve enjoyed advancing conversations around these and other areas over the past fifteen months. During this time of increased distance, it’s been a pleasure to participate in this community and to learn more about the work partners are doing across the country to address the many problems higher ed is facing.


Throughout higher education, this is the season of Commencements; Elon celebrated ours last week.  It is always a time of community celebration, of exhausted joy for graduates and deep pride for families and educators. But this year’s graduations were unlike any other in recent years. Many institutions held their first in-person gatherings since 2019, and some brought back the classes of 2020 and 2021 for delayed recognition ceremonies alongside this year’s graduates.  (David’s son Isaac returned to his alma mater for such a two-years-late celebration.) It felt wonderful and a little strange to gather again in ceremony.

All of which makes the year’s Commencements even more powerful than usual. We honor the resilience and tenacity of every student who has reached this milestone during the stress of the pandemic stress and the personal and civic struggles that have come with it. We honor the resilience and tenacity of every student and prospective student who are not there yet. May next year’s Commencements have less stress, less struggle, and even more joy.

With many thanks (and warm wishes for a great summer),

David, Kelly, Paul, & Todd