Carlson Leadership & Public Service Center

Ellis Fellowship Profiles

Anticipated Graduation 2021

Madison Hall-Lambert - American Ethnic Studies; Law, Societies and Justice

Ellis Fellow Project: Higher Education Access Routes

Service Commitments as a Fellow: I had an internship with a member of the Seattle Chapter of the Black Panther Parties.

Post-Graduation Plan: I would like to be an employment attorney for employment discrimination.

Kiss’Shonna Curtis - Education, Community, and Organizations and Psychology

Ellis Fellow Project: Biology Peer Facilitator for UW

Social Issues of Interest: I am interested in educational equity and prison reform and justice for minorities that have been affected by our corrupt criminal justice system. Furthermore, I am passionate about rehabilitation efforts for overlooked and under-supported communities.

Post-Graduation Plan: Some of my future goals are to be involved with the areas of passion that I listed above. I’d like to be actively advocating for disenfranchised and vulnerable communities. I hope to center my capstone project around these goals. I’d like to be active in being a part of the change for Seattle’s homeless population and advocating for more mental health resources.

Class of 2019

Heaven Tesfamariam - Medical Anthropology & Global Health and Political Science

Ellis Fellow Capstone: I work with an Eritrean youth group; my work has included organizing a career day, networking events and campus visits.  

Service Commitments as a Fellow: My longest commitment was Bryant Elementary School. I worked with them since the spring quarter of my freshmen year. I worked there with their health room and it was fun because I got to interact with all of the kids. It was a Nurse Assistant position where I would take care of the kids if they had fallen and needed a bandaid or if their tummy isn’t feeling well. When I started at UW, I was on the nursing track and Bryant elementary served a purpose to build experience.

I also worked with Mary’s Place, a homeless shelter for families. What I later discovered is that Mary’s Place was a shelter I stayed at with my family when I was younger so it was great to remake that connection and work with them. There are a lot of East African refugees so I got to use my language skills and help the client communicate with the shelter.

Social Issues of Interest: One of them is racial equity and it’s been a theme throughout my four years here and in other work that I’ve done. Homelessness is the second issue. Having been someone who experienced homelessness when I was younger wanted to address throughout my time here and throughout my service.

Post-Graduation Plan: The first step is going back home (Eritrea) and do national service there for two years. The Ellis Fellowship had an impact on my post-graduation plans because of the service component, which  made me more involved in my community–especially the Eritrean Community Center. One of my biggest commitments with them has been mentoring YPFDJ (Young People Stand for Democracy and Justice) because I held leadership positions with them when I was in high school. So that’s been a huge part of my Ellis Fellowship and being involved in my community in that way led me to want to go back and serve.

Class of 2018

Feben Gebremichael - Business Administration - Information Systems

Feben Gebremichael ’17 as Emcee of the Spring Celebration.

Ellis Fellow Capstone: Building Networks Peer Mentorship Program

Service Commitments as a Fellow: As part of the fellowship, I worked with a number of different organizations. First I explored local food banks such as the University District Food Bank and North helpline. As I sought to find service learning related to my area of study, I did a brief internship with Ventures as an Access to Market Research Intern. Ventures is a non-profit that helps provide support by equipping them with the tools they need to start their own businesses. That experience really inspired me to look deeper into issues such as financial literacy. Later I worked with the unit equipping them with the tools they need to start their own businesses. That experience really inspired me to look deeper into issues such as financial literacy. Later I worked with the  United Way of King County Free Tax Campaign as a volunteer tax preparer. Another theme I wanted to explore was access to higher education, so I served at the dream project as a mentor for a quarter. From there I knew that I really wanted to work with high school and college students, and picked up a role as an intern for the diversity services within my department. As the intern, I serve as an assistant program manager for the business bridge which is an early fall start academy for incoming freshmen of color. That experienced help me understand the gap between underrepresented minority students and admissions and competitive majors. That was when I decided on my capstone project – A peer mentorship program offering academic support and professional development for students of color wanting to enter business and stem fields.

Post-Graduation Plan: I am a consulting analyst with Accenture – and hope to work on projects in the public sector!

Class of 2015

Vy Tran - Environmental Health Major

Ellis Fellow Project: MyScholarshipStory, a 12-week personal statement development program for south Seattle freshmen and sophomores.

Kurt Blomdahl ’15; Justin Taylor ’16; Joy Levien ’15; Nancy Huizar ’14; Vy Tran ’15; and others listen to presentation at Seattle Tilth Children’s Garden.

Service Commitments as a Fellow: I volunteered at Mary’s Place, a homeless shelter for women and children.  I was given opportunities to do various volunteering events throughout my undergraduate as well as help paint and remove weeds for local non-profits/businesses. The majority of my time was spent on MyScholarshipStory, through – organizing events, working on the curriculum, and getting more mentors onboard. We were also placed in special storytelling and community classes together, which were pretty amazing… some of the most interesting topics I’ve ever been presented with in college.

Social Issues of Interest: In general, I’m interested in health and educational disparities. These issues are ingrained in my Environmental Health curriculum and my upbringing as a low-income, first-generation college student and immigrant.

Post-Graduation Plan: I’m lucky to have a career that aligns with some of my interests. As an Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Manager, I get to make sure the most vulnerable populations in different companies are safe. On the side, I have been working on a company, Wonder Hoodie. We make bulletproof protection more affordable and more accessible to women and children.

Joy Levine - Sociology

Ellis Fellow Capstone: Marketing Internship and In-Shelter Volunteer for ROOTS Young Adult Shelter

Service Commitments as a Fellow: Mary’s Place, Pike Market Senior Center, Pike Market Foundation, NEST (North East Seattle Together), ROOTS Young Adult Shelter

Social Issues of Interest: Seattle Housing & Homelessness Crisis. These two issues are directly correlated. Twelve thousand of our neighbors are currently experiencing homelessness and countless more live with unstable housing due to high rents. My Ellis Fellowship service commitments with Mary’s Place, Pike Market Senior Center, and ROOTS Young Adult Shelter gave me a passion for affordable housing policy and working to bring down the barriers to housing our at-risk neighbors face.

Post-Graduation Plan: I am currently a Resident Services Coordinator for Capitol Hill Housing, an affordable housing provider. I work directly with low-income seniors, who would otherwise be homeless in our city without HUD Sec 8 housing. I am pursuing a Masters of Social Work at UW with the goal of working as a Geriatric Social Worker upon graduation.

Class of 2014

Nancy Huizar - Aquatic and Fishery Sciences

Ellis Fellow Capstone: Equity & Inclusion in Fishery Sciences

Service Commitments as a Fellow: Pacific Science Center, Seattle Aquarium, Washington Environmental Council, Seattle City Light

Social Issues of Interest: Environmental justice – Interested in this topic because as a young woman of color, I researched and have experienced how historically and in present-day POC communities have been intentionally kept out of decision making on important environmental issues.

Post-Graduation Plan: Volunteering with Got Green, a POC led environmental justice group where we are working to create green job pathways for low-income youth of color. I currently work for Sustainable Seattle where I manage a couple of programs with the goal to give power to communities of color and support projects.

Class of 2013

Steven Rowe - Psychology and Sociology

Steven Rowe ’13 posing for outreach campaign.

Ellis Fellow Capstone: Speak Up – A nonprofit encouraging speech and debate in Washington State

Service Commitments as a Fellow: Union Gospel Mission front desk assistant, Youth tutor – Seattle public library (Delridge branch), Somali Community Services tutor, Juvenile Detention Center activity/athletic facilitator

Social Issues of Interest: Social Equality, Education, Pollution & Climate Change

Post-Graduation Plan: Social work at Kitsap Community Services (First job outside of college), Volunteering through my current job (The Spur Group), Mentoring through GEJFA (Greater Eastside Junior Football Association), Ambitions of joining the board for GEJFA