Matthew Ellis (PhD, Cellular & Molecular Physiology)

Describe your project:

My main projects consisted of performing needs assessments for various LGBTQ+ affinity groups and for members of the Yale Graduate and Professional Schools, and facilitating networking and social events for trans and non-binary G&P students. Additionally, I helped to organize and facilitate healthcare and career panel events for Trans Awareness Week 2020 programming. 

What are the main skills that you acquired?

Participating in this fellowship allowed me to hone my organizational leadership and event planning skills, and gain experience hosting and cultivating inclusive spaces on campus. These activities improved my listening and empathy building skills and helped me begin to translate wants and needs into progressive change. 

What were the biggest challenges and learning opportunities of the fellowship?

The biggest challenge of the fellowship for me was also the biggest learning opportunity. My mentors at the Office of LGBTQ Resources allowed me great flexibility in deciding where and how to focus my efforts, while providing me multiple opportunities for engagement, which meant I had both the freedom to decide how to best structure my time, but also the responsibility to manage that time productively and efficiently. This type of guided project management was challenging, but rewarding, and has provided me an invaluable experience beneficial to my future career.