Outgoing alumni president connected with students
Felicia Ellzy '10/'12M has given back as an alumni speaker, panelist, resume reviewer, and mock interviewer. In 2016, she joined the BU Alumni Association board of directors and was elected president in 2020. She finishes her term with a legacy of inclusion and advocacy for the pack's youngest Huskies.
When Felicia Ellzy’ 10/’11M applied to Bloomsburg University, she had no idea how her fellow Huskies would shape her future. As her term as president of the Bloomsburg University Alumni Association ends, Ellzy is looking back on how her work has shaped the pack’s youngest members.
In the decade since graduation, Ellzy has given back to Bloom as an alumni speaker, panelist, resume reviewer, and mock interviewer. In 2016, she joined the BU Alumni Association board of directors and was elected president in 2020. Her leadership reflects the values and passion she developed at Bloomsburg as an educator and community builder. It has been essential to Ellzy that students know an alumni association exists, and that they are aware of the resources and mentorship it provides. She has made it a point to spread the word that alumni of every age, every race, every profession, and from every major are essential and needed.
“One of the most important things you can do as an alumnus is pass along your connections and make sure [students] know the community is there for them no matter what,” said Ellzy. “We all have a Bloomsburg story, and you have to reach back so somebody else can have their story.”
When Ellzy joined the alumni board, her first assignment was to recruit new board members and work to assemble a board that reflected the student demographic. From those early meetings, the committee has devoted much time to diversity, equity, and inclusion for board members and students. Ellzy’s fellow board members now participate in regular training, and the annual Day of Dialogue has brought underrepresented students in direct contact with board members and university administrators.
“We’ve been able to give students a space to express themselves,” explained Ellzy.” There have been some pivotal moments to get the board to the well-oiled machine it is now.”
Ellzy says being on the board has allowed her to connect more deeply with her alma mater and to see and shape some inner workings that one doesn’t see as a student. She says that even as a mentor and alumni volunteer, she’s connected with faculty, staff, administration, and students through the alumni board in a way she couldn’t before. Her last official responsibility as board president was particularly poignant: commencement speaker for the last class to graduate before integration became official. While she took pictures and watched the graduating seniors, she couldn’t help remembering her graduation day and admiring those who walked across the stage to begin their next climb.
“It was surreal,” recalled Ellzy. “I remember being there, leaving college and what that felt like, and now I’m on stage, looking at all these emerging minds. I hear the passion in all the speeches. I get to see all our babies walk across and how happy and excited they are. That’s why I’m here. It brought a tear to my eye. It’s so fulfilling.”
Ellzy says that even though her time on the board has ended, she has no plans to stop being involved. And while she’s sad to be leaving, Ellzy says the alumni board is in good hands with Jaison Williams ’93 as incoming president and Bill Benz ’82 as Vice President.
“Our main goal is to drive alumni volunteers and have student engagement,” explained Ellzy. “I don’t doubt it will be good. The alumni association is in great hands.”
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