Mitch Ellison


JE 2002

The Johns Hopkins University

Master's Degree, Biotechnology with concentration in Bioinformatics

2014 – 2015

Doctoral Candidate at the University of Pittsburgh

Mitch Ellison"The Journey East program had a major impact on my life. It was the first time that I was part of a truly exciting academic program with a diverse group of individuals from diverse backgrounds. The fact that this was coupled with overseas travel that took us to some of the most scenic and cultural places in the northern and eastern parts of China also greatly contributed to the overall experience. Thinking back on it I really can say that the impact of this program has created positive ripples thought out the timeline of my life. Traveling as part of a performing arts group took me out of my comfort zone and taught me that I could do things that I would have never imagined I was capable of before.

Since I participated in the Journey East program I have done many things that I would have never seen myself doing. Learning to have the courage to try new things and travel to new places was one of the major payoffs of the program for me. This newfound characteristic allowed me to go from Leland and Gray Union High to the United States Army and eventually Operation Enduring Freedom. Following service to my country I rekindled my interest in academics and have completed a series of degrees in the biological sciences. Today I am in the first year of a PhD program in Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology at the University of Pittsburgh. This is the terminal degree in my chosen field. All of these accomplishments I believe can in part be attributed to the kind of education that I obtained at Leland and Gray and specifically the courage to step out of my comfort zone, which is a direct result of my participation in the Journey East Program."

Thanks for all the opportunities and mentorship. I'm sorry I always fought it so hard.