Scholar Advisory Board Welcomes Four New Members

The Elks National Foundation is pleased to announce four new members of the Scholar Advisory Board: Nishitha Karumuri, an at-large representative; Jed Quiaoit, the first-year Most Valuable Student representative; and Corey Lallo, the first-year Legacy Awards representative. In addition, the 2021 Elks Scholar Alum of the Year Jay Little Cunningham joins the SAB for a one-year term.

Karumuri is a 2019 MVS scholar sponsored by Statesville, N.C., Lodge No. 1823. She is studying health policy management at University of North Carolina. Karumuri dives into every encounter she has with an open mind, open heart, and a focus on creating a safe, encouraging space—qualities that will make her a tremendous asset both on the SAB and in her future career in hospital management. Karumuri joins two other at-large representatives on the Board: 2017 MVS scholar Jacob Fritche and 2003 MVS scholar and 2018 Elks Scholar Alum of the Year Shaan Ghandi.

Though Karumuri received her scholarship in 2019, her connection with the Elks family grew during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the ENF launched virtual programming for Elks scholars, and Karumuri attended every event.

“I met a group of amazing, determined, service-oriented people like me, yet they came from all around the country and all walks of life,” Karumuri says. “Soon, being an Elks scholar was more than being financially supported. Elks scholars are a community of the brightest minds of our generation.”

Sponsored by Vista, Calif., Lodge No. 1968, Jed Quiaoit is a 2021 MVS scholar and first-generation student studying biomedical engineering and biotechnology at Tufts University. Quiaoit believes in paying it forward—he serves as a mentor helping first-generation, low-income high school seniors navigate the college admissions and financial aid process.

This past year, Quiaoit found time to connect with the Elks family through virtual scholarship programming, as well as on the Santa Monica service trip.

“My experience in Santa Monica taught me that to be an Elks scholar is to be part of a lifetime, self-actualizing journey in which you get to cherish the smallest acts of kindness you share with volunteers, youth and adults alike,” says Quiaoit. “My fellow scholars are the next generation of public servants, humanitarians, and positive changemakers, and I want to engage with them every opportunity I can.”

Corey Lallo’s grandfather is a 30-year member of Muskegon, Mich., Lodge No. 274 and sponsored Lallo’s Legacy Awards application.

“I've grown up at the Elks,” Lallo says. “After my family moved in 2007, no trip home felt complete without a visit. I always feel a sense of community and connection when in this environment.”

Lallo is a first-year student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying computer science. When he’s not in class, he shares his musical talents on stage or in the choir. Lallo also harnessed his unending enthusiasm and energy on the Chicago service trip this past July.

And last but certainly not least, the ENF is pleased to announce the 2021 Elks Scholar Alum of the Year, Jay Little Cunningham. Cunningham will join the SAB for a one-year term.

A native of Artesia, Mississippi, Cunningham was a top MVS national winner in 2016 and graduated from the University of Alabama in 2019. From serving as an Elks Scholar Leader at ENF events, to becoming an ENF donor and joining Gulfport, Miss., Lodge No. 978, he embodies what it means to be a champion of the Order. Click here to learn more about Jay.

Karumuri, Quiaoit, Lallo and Cunningham will join the Board for the first 2021-2022 meeting in Chicago this November. Check back for updates on the important work the board does for Elks scholar engagement initiatives throughout the year.

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