Ellen Servais

Trinity Fellow Class of 2003

Graduate Program: MA, Public Service, Dispute Resolution

Undergraduate Degree, Institution: English, Washington State University

Trinity Nonprofit Agency: Village Adult Services, Coordinator of Business Development, Marketing, and Communication

Full-time Service Experience, Years Served, Location:

Peace Corps, 1999-2000, Sobmon Islands; 1997-1999, Ethiopia

Service Experience:

Throughout high school I volunteered at Camp Easter Seals, gathered goods for our local food shelter, and spent hours each week assisting the special education classes at the school. I continued my volunteerism in college, participating in neighborhood clean-ups, tutoring local high school students, and planting trees each spring in high-erosion areas. A few months after graduation in 1996, I began what would be the two most incredible years of service work in my life: Peace Corps in Ethiopia.

My official 'job' was a secondary school English teacher in a rural western village, where I was responsible for designing an upper-level curriculum while incorporating community-content-based instruction into the lessons. Additionally, I was an assistant to the village mid-wife and participated in a week-long polio eradication mission throughout the countryside. Upon an abrupt evacuation from Ethiopia due to the war with Eritrea in 1999, I re-entered the Peace Corps in the Solomon Islands, where I was a rural community educator for a tour of five months. My roles on an extremely remote island were to assess villages for need-based development for self-sufficiency and advise women on resource management, health and self-sustenance.

Trinity Fellowship Experience:

In 2001 I was granted a Trinity Fellowship at Marquette University, where I am currently obtaining a MA in public service and certification in dispute resolution. I am taking a variety of public service courses such as Leadership, Non-Profit Management, Urban Legal Issues, Mediation, Social Justice and Activism, Writing for the Non-profit Agency, and The Nature of Cities. Congruently, I work 18 hours each week at Village Adult Services, a nonprofit urban adult day care center. In my position as the coordinator of communications & business development, I facilitate fundraising events and develop the philanthropic base, I research and write grant proposals for special programs and capital, and I design brochures, quarterly newsletters and the annual report.

The combination of academia and professionalism that the Trinity Fellows Program allows is unique in that I am gaining tremendous skills and knowledge that I can utilize immediately. Personally, the program has fostered an environment of independence and confidence that I needed to have an edge on my public service aspirations. It challenges me to confront very real and modern issues in my daily work, then analyze, understand and create solutions in my classes. On a professional level, the Trinity Fellows program has introduced me to Milwaukee's service world, the power of networking and forming relationships and a safe venue in which to foster and practice my writing, marketing, and business skills.

I am grateful for this opportunity to enhance myself as a dedicated public servant and a curious academic. The balance of the Trinity Fellows Program, Marquette University courses and Village Adult Services work is giving me a remarkable experience that I hope to apply with value for the good of our society.

Current Position:

Telluris, LLC

Trinity Fellows Class

Quick Links


Carole Ferrara, Director
(414) 288-5861

Carolyn Swabek, Assistant Director
(414) 288-0637

Peggy Mead, Program Assistant
(414) 288-5473