Profiles written and edited by Andrew Wickenden ā€™09 and Ronny Frishman Pā€™00.

Current Position
Associate Director of Admissions, Hobart and William Smith Colleges

2012 Salisbury Summer International Internship
Coca-Cola Africa Foundation in Johannesburg, South Africa

Graduate Work
Masters in Education and Social Change, University of Miami

“The Salisbury experience taught me how to grow up, live by myself and navigate a new place,” says Brianne Ellis ’13, who worked as a liaison intern for the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation in collaboration with the Global Environment and Technology Foundation (GETF). With headquarters in Washington, D.C., the GETF implements safe water, sanitation and hygiene programs, and infrastructures around the world. Through the GETF in South Africa, Ellis managed and supported initiatives for ongoing programs at the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, which focuses its efforts in four key areas: water, health, education and entrepreneurship.

“I had never been to Africa and had to quickly learn a new culture, geography and language,” Ellis says. When she moved to Miami after graduating from William Smith to begin a position as a kindergarten teacher with Teach for America, she felt prepared and “able to adapt to Miami because I had that experience. Working for Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, I learned how to manage multiple tasks and how to accomplish them in a timely and efficient manner. There’s lots going on in kindergarten, but I felt prepared with the skills and competencies to reach my students.”

While Ellis explains there was a “huge learning curve” when she began at Miami’s Van E. Blanton Elementary School, she began to see in the subsequent months “great growth – from my students and myself.”

Previously, Ellis had interned with the Hope for Honduran Children Foundation in Honduras, where with the support of the Centennial Leadership Fellowship, she worked with students to develop leadership skills and taught lessons on civic engagement, advocacy, self-worth, confidence and sustainable living. This interest in social justice through education is what led her to Teach for America. During her time with the national non-profit, she began a master’s program in education and social change at the University of Miami. Now, having finished her degree, she recently accepted a new job as Associate Director of Admissions at Hobart and William Smith.

Ellis says she was excited to work at a non-profit and fell in love working for Coca-Cola Africa Foundation.

“I am now helping students everyday to have the same transformative experiences
I had.”


Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.