Southern Ellis, who holds two design degrees from Texas A&M, will be at HKS Inc.’s Dallas office working on healthcare projects and performing research as its 2011-12 healthcare fellow.
Ellis, who earned a Bachelor of Environmental Design in 2009 and a Master of Architecture degree in 2011, earned the fellowship by submitting his portfolio, resume and answers to a questionnaire that detailed his career aspirations, interest in healthcare design and his motivation to apply for the fellowship; his submissions were followed by an interview with the leadership of the HKS Healthcare Group.
“I have found an amazing opportunity to directly affect the lives of people through the creation of healing environments,” said Ellis, whose master’s thesis was a hospital design for the Tanzanian village of Nkololo, which he visited in 2010. “I feel the unique skill sets of architects, as problem solvers and innovators, gives us the potential to truly affect change in the health of the world.”
He’ll also be in HKS’ Shanghai office, researching the design of healthcare facilities in China.
“I’ll be there to learn about the vast similarities and differences of designing healing facilities there and in the U.S.,” he said, adding that he’s finalizing a more specific topic.
Ellis was one of the Master of Architecture program’s student leaders.
He founded the campus chapter of Global Architecture Brigades, coordinated its effort to design a school for a Honduran town and, after its citizens chose their design over those of other schools’ GAB chapters, led a multidisciplinary student team to Honduras to begin the school’s construction.
Ellis also led Texas A&M’s Student Health Environment Association and was the university’s representative at the 2009 U.S. – China Relations Conference in Beijing.
As an HKS fellow, Ellis will be at a firm ranked among the top healthcare-specialized architectural firms by Modern Healthcare and BD World Architecture. Operating from 23 offices throughout the United States, Latin America, United Kingdom, the Middle East, India and China, the firm focuses on innovative design, process and delivery.
Former students Lindsay Todd, who earned a Bachelor of Environmental Design degree in 2005, and Ashley Dias, who earned a Bachelor of Environmental Design degree in 2006 and a Master of Architecture degree in 2008, are previous HKS healthcare fellows from Texas A&M.
HKS established the fellowship to recognize and encourage aspiring, talented recent graduates committed to improving the built healthcare environment.