Brittany Battista remembers feeling nervous as she began her Wilkes University career and had her first class with Dr. Jane Elmes Crahall.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” she remembers.
From day one, Jane recognized Brittany’s potential. Within two weeks, she had already convinced her to join Zebra Communications to help her fulfill her extracurricular requirement for class. As part of Zebra, Brittany found success early on.
“She doesn’t do anything superficially,” said Jane “Everything she does is 110%.”
Tasked with difficult challenges and clients, Brittany impressed Dr. Elmes Crahall. By year’s end, Brittany was managing multiple accounts for Zebra and was named a member of Zebra Board – an accomplishment achieved by only one other freshman in the organization’s history.
“I didn’t want to miss out on any opportunities – I wanted to take advantage of every chance I had,” Battista said.
Jane was quick to agree. “She approaches every opportunity as a chance to improve. If I didn’t see that she learned from each opportunity, I wouldn’t have offered them,” added Jane.
Battista pursued additional opportunities offered to her, including becoming Social Media Director for Zebra, as well as taking an internship over the summer in Wilkes University’s Marketing Communication Department under the guidance of Vicki Mayk, associate director of public relations.
Dr. Elmes Crahall accredits Wilkes University’s unique ability to develop and foster mentoring relationships as a big reason for the growth of a relationship between herself and Battista.
“It’s a unique Wilkes relationship. What happens is very individualized. I have the chance to get to know her as a person, and it helps me to work with her and make suggestions that will help lead her to finding greater success,” said Dr. Elmes Crahall.
She says that Battista’s confidence has grown in the short time that she’s worked with her.
“She’s grown so quickly,” Elmes Crahall added proudly. “The lack of self-confidence she admits to when she came to Wilkes – I think we’ve left that in the dust.”
The mentoring relationship has turned into a friendship, and it’s safe to say that Battista could be considered family.
“My husband considers her a surrogate daughter.”
Battista will not be graduating until 2014, but until then she knows she’s changed for the better in her short time at Wilkes. She credits much of that change to Dr. Elmes Crahall.
“She’s my life-line,” said Battista. “I’m a completely different person than when I started. It’s scary, but in a good way. I’ve really grown in my time here.”
Dr. Elmes Crahall is quick to point out that through working with Battista, she’s also learning on a daily basis.
“I’m always learning from her,” Elmes Crahall said, “whether it’s learning how to use Social Media or from her positive attitude.”
From the experiences of working together, Battista is confident that upon leaving Wilkes she’ll be able to find a job based on the opportunities she’s been given, thanks to Dr. Elmes Crahall.
From early on, Dr. Elmes Crahall and Brittany Battista were bonded by zebra stripes behind the walls of Zebra Communications. Both will share that bond and a friendship well beyond their time shared at Wilkes University.