Kathleen Ellis

Name: Kathleen Ellis

Role: Executive Director, MUSC Center for Global Health

Hometown: Vicksburg, Mississippi

When did you join MUSC? 2006

What’s your favorite part about working in global health? For me, it’s all about the mission and knowing the work we’re doing is making a meaningful impact. One of the things I truly love about this field is the collaborative nature of the work and the ability to build relationships across so many disciplines. I’m fortunate to partner with so many talented faculty and students at MUSC and with global colleagues who are equally passionate about driving innovative solutions in global health. Every day brings the opportunity to get to know people from different cultures and backgrounds and to learn from their experiences.

What advice would you give to an international student or faculty member coming to MUSC for the first time? It can be daunting to move to a new country and to navigate a new culture and language. My advice is to keep an open mind and meet as many people as you can. Charleston is a wonderful city to explore. Get involved in local activities. Try as many things as you can outside of your comfort zone, and don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice.

What is your favorite place to travel? It’s impossible to pick a favorite – there are too many wonderful places. But if I had to give a top five list, I would surely start with Spain. My husband is from the northwest coast, and we spend time there each year visiting family, hiking in the mountains, and enjoying the sea. Next on the list includes Turkey, Morocco, Thailand and Tanzania.

How do you like to spend your free time? Paddleboarding, kayaking and anything that involves water! Endless adventures with my six-year-old son – ranging from scavenger hunts, kids’ science experiments to answering the endless stream of “why” questions and wondering how long the Socratic method will hold up! Any other free time I have is spent reading, spending time with family and friends, my perpetual (but failing) quest to acquire a green thumb in gardening and cheering on my alma mater Notre Dame during football season.