Crystal Ellis is a passionate and insightful leader focused on supporting and empowering communities of color through a public health approach focused on reducing health disparities and improving wellness. Crystal is a first year graduate student at Washington University in St. Louis, working towards a Master of Public Health at the Brown School. She combines research, policy change, service to community, and advocacy as a multi-tiered approach to implement social change and strive for racial justice. Currently, Crystal is a student researcher working with her mentor Dr. Jack Kirkland, an associate professor focused on the African-American family, as well as social and economic development. Crystal has held a range of leadership roles including serving as a Diversity Ambassador Participant, President of the Cal Poly Pomona Black Advance Club, and Executive Co-Outreach Chair for the Black Student Union at California State Polytechnic University where she earned her Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology. Crystal's commitment to community transformation and empowerment has the potential to make a lasting impact in the St. Louis region and exemplifies her dedication to service and civic engagement.
As a Masters of Public Health student, the specific goal I strive to accomplish is helping local and national populations of color become self-sustaining, and reducing health barriers towards living a life full of wellness. I seek opportunities that strive to solve immediate and long-term needs of low income communities like my own, and protect important health services in predominantly African American communities. The transdisciplinary approach to solving these specific public health problems provides me with a wider scope of the issue, as well as utilizing multiple resources to collect, disseminate and report valuable information to professionals and back to the community. By also working directly with policymakers towards implementing useful and needed resources for health equity in underfunded neighborhoods, I advocate for community voices to be heard. The Newman Civic Fellowship is in alignment with my academic and career path through recognizing and supporting students with a passion for community service. Acceptance into this fellowship would allow me the opportunity to educate, pioneer, and collaborate with other like-minded leaders towards creating positive social change in the St. Louis community, and beyond.