John Ellis, a junior from Bridge City, has found support at Lamar University to explore his many, diverse interests.

“I’ve always had a general appreciation for a lot of things,” said the 20-year-old computer information systems major. “Its unique that I can do so much here, even when it doesn’t specifically match my major. At Lamar, it feels like there are a lot more open doors.”

In the first three semesters alone, Ellis was a member of the Freshman Leadership Program, a drum major for the LU Marching Band, a member of the Wind Ensemble that played at the 2015 Texas Music Educator’s Association Convention, a Lamar Ambassador and began working for the university’s marketing department.

Ellis continues as an intern in the marketing department and as drum major for the marching band with hopes of adding a minor in business. After finishing his bachelor’s degree in May 2018, Ellis wants to attend graduate school. His degree plan will allow him to complete his bachelor’s degree and an MBA within five years.

Ellis has been involved at LU for years before enrolling. He has attended Lamar band camp every summer since 2008, and his family, alum of the university, stays involved as well.

“Towards the end of my senior year, I was able to start to meet faculty here and it really peaked my interest. LU was close to home and I was offered a number of scholarships. I felt it was simple to get adjusted,” he said.

Ellis is known to juggle side projects along with work and school, like editing videos for a variety of organizations. He is also avid about technology and loves building computers.

“My dream job is to be an executive for a large company in an area of technology in business or creative applications, like Pixar, Industrial Light & Magic, Apple or Microsoft. Companies that create technology or implement it through outlets like film or media would be fun to work with,” said Ellis.

Ellis says that his job in marketing plays an essential part in the development of his future career skills.

“Here, I’ve learned how to be organized, and I’ve gotten better accustomed to working in a professional environment. A lot of the equipment and software I use is different from what I’m used to— For example, we use a video-editing program here that I’ve never used before. I’m glad because it’s the industry standard,” he said.

Ellis feels that his time at LU has helped him branch out and meet new people. He says he has come to appreciate that some of the best learning experiences aren’t necessarily academic; they are whatever helps him grow as a person.

“I’m so grateful for the opportunities Lamar has given me. I plan to stay involved with the university after graduation— for something that has offered me so much, I won’t be happy until I’m able to do something to give back,” he said.

Ellis has earned a place on the President’s List twice. He is a recipient of the Cardinal Scholarship, the Mary Morgan Moore Department of Music Scholarship, the Motiva Enterprises Student Achievement Scholarship, the Texas Interscholastic League Foundation Scholarship, the American Real Estate Endowed Scholarship, the Charles & Susan Gordon and Julia Gordon Gray Memorial Scholarship and the Lamar Marching Band Participation Scholarship.