Thursday, November 21, 2019

Meet Justin Ellis

Counselor, Student Life

Where did you grow up and what was it like? 
I am from the big little county of Surry, VA. As a youth, there was a saying "Surry is something special." This was instilled in us to help us believe in the strength of who we are and who we were raised to be. 

You are relatively new to Reynolds. What brought you here? 
A mentor sent me the job listing. After I saw the job post, I knew this was within my skill set and decided that this would be the logical next step in progressing in a career in higher education. I am so glad I applied. This has been a life changing year.

What sparked your interest in working with students?  
My personal philosophy on life is "to help everyone I meet become the best them they can become."  I also have a love for student engagement. The joy in seeing a student find a connection that pushes him or her to pursue his or her dreams is what got me started in higher education. 

What are the most challenging aspects of your job? 
The most challenging part of my position is not being able to reach all students. I know that it is truly impossible to reach them all, but my goal will always be to not have one student feel disconnected.

What are the most rewarding aspects of your job? 
The most rewarding part of my job is seeing students engage with people, events, and activities that he or she may not have done had he or she not participated in the Student Life event. Students often say they were so glad that he or she participated in the event. It was the best time they have had.

If you had one extra hour a day, how would you use it? 
Spending quality time with my family. I live in Suffolk and drive to Richmond daily. I love watching movies with my wife and son.

What do you like to do outside of your work at Reynolds? 
I love sports, so watching any sport is a great time. I like running as well. I have run one full marathon and three half marathons. I also play golf on occasion. Those are my favorite things outside of family time and work.

What do like most about Richmond? Favorite places to visit? Favorite restaurants? 
I still live in Suffolk so I am not very familiar with a lot of things in Richmond. My wife and I are foodies so I use yelp to find places to eat. Right now ZZQ is my favorite. I am a griller so good grilled food is amazing. 

If you won $100 Million in the Mega Millions lottery what would you do with the money? 
If I won $100 million, the first thing I would do is fund my wife’s business idea. Next I would purchase a lot of land that would be given to my son. I would also start a non-profit to help end homelessness.