Lipscomb communication professor uses successes in business to inspire and motivate students

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Lipscomb University communications professor, Aerial Ellis is a force to be reckoned with. Not only does she teach courses in public relations, cross-cultural communications and leadership, but she has recently authored her first book, The Original Millennial and now has been named one of Nashville Business Journal’s Women of Influence in their Trailblazer category.

On Feb. 8 an award luncheon was held at the Omni Hotel in Nashville for the Women of Influence recipients. Ellis, along with her colleagues from Lipscomb’s communication department attended the event to support her as she accepted her award.

“I’m honored and grateful to be able to be in the same class as such great women and professionals and will forever get to be a part of this category,” said Ellis. “To me this award is really just an opportunity for me to keep grooming my students, mentoring other professionals and supporting other women in business.”

Ellis was also recently nominated as one of Nashville Business Journal’s 40 under 40. This year's winners were chosen from nearly 600 nominations. A panel of judges reviewed each nomination, looking for those with strong business sense, deep ties to the community and a willingness to go the extra mile in all they do. An awards luncheon will be held March 14 at the Omni Hotel.ELLIS_SIDE

The strong connections Ellis has to the business community allows her to offer her students at Lipscomb a unique learning experience.

“I have always approached the way I teach from a professional’s perspective more than the professors perspective. I attempt to deliver class content from a professional’s viewpoint and I think now as a result being able to wear both hats I’m able to sit with my colleagues and people in my industry and talk the language but also make connections and bring valuable resources to my students.”

Ellis says she enjoys being able to offer her students an experience they may not be able to get anywhere else and hopes they value having a professor who brings her professional experiences into the classroom.

“I hope my students acknowledge that they’re learning from someone who is really entrenched in the PR industry, from my PRSA involvement to my work as a consultant, to my community and business accomplishments,” Ellis said. “I hope that they’ll acknowledge that there is something very unique about what Lipscomb has to offer their students.”