Meet a Deac – Jonathan McElderry

Jonathan McElderry, Director of the Intercultural CenterWe’re back after Fall Break! Hope your Deacs had a restful break. P’22s, we have a new Message for First Year Families up today. This one is about the Ups and Downs of the first year.

From time to time we like to do a “Meet A Deac,” where we showcase one of the people on campus who you may (or may not) already know, but who make an impact on our students in lots of different ways. I’m delighted to feature Jonathan McElderry of the Intercultural Center.

Hey Jonathan – thanks for doing this. Let’s get the official part out of the way, what is your title and in which office do you work?
I am the Assistant Dean of Students and Director of the Intercultural Center. That means I serve in the Office of the Dean of Students and the Intercultural Center.

How long have you worked at Wake Forest?
This is my third academic year.

In laypersons’ terms, what do you do at Wake Forest? What are your main roles?
In my role, I oversee the daily operation and function of the Intercultural Center. That includes – but is not limited to – programming, student support services, advising student organizations, and creating a safe environment for all students who frequent the space. Additionally, I work with campus partners to influence policies that help make Wake a more inclusive environment.

Tell me about your educational background.
I have a B.S. from George Mason University, a M.Ed from Ohio University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri.

My hat is off to you. I just finished my comp exams for my PhD program this week and I know how much work it is!

Think now about what you have observed of Wake Forest students. How would you characterize them? What are some common attributes they share?
I believe Wake students are one of a kind. They are highly involved on campus and looking to change the world. Additionally, they are always full of new ideas, which bring lots of programming, guest speakers and activities to campus.

What do you like best about working at Wake Forest?
I enjoy the sense of community at Wake. I feel as though the highly-relational and collaborative atmosphere enhances the experiences of faculty and staff, which ultimately positively impacts our students.

What advice would you give students?
The advice I often give students is to not be afraid to ask for help. There are so many great people here willing to assist any and every student – whether its related to financial aid, studying abroad, getting involved, stress/mental health, or just updates on events happening on campus.

What is your favorite place on campus?
The Intercultural Center, of course! Because it is a place that many students call home. Every day you can walk through the center and see students engaged in discussions, programming, enjoying a quick meal, or planning events for their student orgs.

And this is not just any old year for the Intercultural Center, is it?
That’s true – this year, the Intercultural Center is celebrating 40 years on Wake’s campus and there are many engagement opportunities lined up for Homecoming and throughout the year. Be sure to visit our website and check out all of our events and more.

Are you ready for the bonus round? Here goes!

What Truth Sounds LikeBook you’re reading nowWhat Truth Sounds Like by Michael Eric Dyson

What music are you listening to these days? The music that I listen to depends on the environment and how I am feeling that day. I believe there is a song for every emotion and feeling which keeps my playlist shuffling often.

Website(s) you frequent:

Deacon Crunch CookiesGuilty pleasure(s): cake and cookies (a person after my own heart!!!)

Favorite place to eat or drink on campus – and what you order there: The Starbucks in ZSR Library. The staff there are great and really get to know each of the faculty, staff, and students that frequent the space. My usual order is a Chai Tea Latte.

Tell me something most people don’t know about you: I enjoy traveling and being able to see the world.


Many thanks, to Jonathan for being today’s Meet a Deac!


— by Betsy Chapman

Categories: campus lifethe daily deac


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