By Julian Jimenez
History junior Joshua Ellis has been an incredible addition to the
UH community because of his dedication and work ethic. After
earning a wide range of academic and personal accomplishments,
he's made the University proud with his role as a both a student
and a leader.
As finalist for the Dean's award and member of a number of student organizations on campus, Ellis has made an indelible impact
on the school that will no doubt translate to incredible successes
in his future.
Though his academic credentials qualified him for admission
to Rice, Ellis ultimately settled on UH because of the cost and the
culture of the campus. His time here has been valuable — he said
he chose UH because of its diversity.
"The diversity in everything: race, birthplace, income levels,
hardships, commuter vs. non-commuter, employed versus unemployed, make this university such an enriching experience," Ellis said.
In addition, the University has offered him great deal of support with respect to guiding his future. With plans of heading to
medical school not too far off, Ellis attributes much of his success
at the University to the student staff at the Honors College.
"They have been such monumental figures in my college experience. As a student coming from out of town, they took me in and
helped me grow as an academically competitive student," Ellis said.
Like many students, Ellis struggled to figure out which career and degree would best fit his personality and potential. He
soon found a passion for helping others by working with Invisible
Children, a human rights organization dedicated to ending the
forced military enlistment of children in Uganda. As one of the
founding members of the UH chapter, he's played a key role in
organizing fundraisers such as the annual Pie-a-Prof, dodgeball
tournaments and numerous movie nights. He said that his role as
an avid volunteer helped him realize his goal.
"I was committed to humanitarian work, so I felt becoming a
doctor would make me the valuable resource for those I wished to
assist," Ellis said. "At the same time, being a history major allowed
me to explore the human condition so I will be aware of the social
context in which doctors are needed.
"I would love to ultimately be in a position that if another
Hurricane Katrina, or Haiti/Japan Earthquake were to hit, I could
be sent immediately to assist in the crisis," Ellis said.
Ellis' drive to help others stems not only from his compassion, but an understanding of some of the conflicts that plague the
world. He has honed his leadership skills by practicing diplomacy
and politics with the UH Model Arab League. His time in the organization competing with other schools has been essential part of
his time here at the University, and recently paid off when he was
awarded an honorable mention after his last competition — one of
the first awards ever given to a UH MAL member.
"I could not imagine my college experience and my relationships with my Muslim friends without the perspective that MAL
has given me," Ellis said.
Ellis has also helped out future Cougars thanks to his work as
an orientation leader for incoming freshmen. The same traits that
motivate his humanitarian work serve him well as he guides the
newest batch of UH students each year.
"I want to show them the community, the ability to create a
family in college, whether you're commuting, staying on campus,
or coming from out of town," Ellis said. "It will drastically change
their college experience."
He is constantly challenging himself to do more because he
wants to make the most of his blessings — coupled with his genuine sense of compassion, his ambitions reflect a dedication and
commitment that's hard to find in others.
"I feel people will work twice as hard for people they care
about than for themselves. I care about a lot of people," Ellis said.
"If I commit to something or someone, I have an obligation to fulfill
that commitment, whether it is children in Uganda, the membership of an organization that elected me president, or UH, which I
would be representing these events."
Photo by Clarissa Arispe
 inside the Pride