Dr. Michelle Ellis recognized for exceptional leadership in Jacksonville Business Journal’s 40 under 40

May 21, 2024

Dr. Michelle Ellis, Assistant Professor and Clinical Director of Jacksonville University’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CHMC) program, has been recognized as a promising young leader in Jacksonville Business Journal’s 40 under 40.

Every year, the 40 Under 40 Awards recognize 40 emerging talents within the local business sphere, highlighting individuals who have showcased exceptional contributions to their companies, communities, and industries before the age of 40.

“I am deeply honored to be recognized among Jacksonville Business Journal's 40 Under 40," said Dr. Ellis. “Serving the needs of Northeast Florida has been both a goal and a passion of mine, and I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the betterment of our community.”

Dr. Ellis joined Jacksonville University in 2021. In the span of three short years, she has made an impact on university students and faculty, all while maintaining a highly active role in the community. She has provided mental health training to a number of organizations throughout Jacksonville, including Duval County Public Schools and the Girl Scouts of Gateway Council. 

Dr. Ellis's research centers around the integration of cultural considerations in counseling and the cultivation of multicultural counseling proficiency among students. Her contributions have been recognized and celebrated by a variety of counseling organizations. Her most notable awards include the 2019 Courtland Lee Excellence Scholarship Award from the American Counseling Association, the 2020 Young Emerging Leader Award from the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development, and the 2017 Minority Fellow award from the National Board of Certified Counselors.

Dr. Natalie Indelicato, Associate Professor and Department Chair of the CMHC program, nominated Dr. Ellis for the award, recognizing her proactive approach to promote multicultural mental health advocacy. 

“What makes Dr. Ellis stand out is her commitment to mental health advocacy and education, as well as the national recognition she has received as a leader in the counseling field,” said Dr. Indelicato. “She is recognized in the area of multicultural counseling and development and excels in the areas of teaching, research/scholarship, and service/leadership.”

Dr. Indelicato also praised Dr. Ellis’s accomplishments as the Clinical Director of the CMHC program, a role that involves assisting students with their practicum. 

“Notably, many of her scholarly projects include collaboration with students, as she is committed to translating her clinical knowledge and experience through experiential learning in the classroom. She is known as a professor who is a knowledgeable clinician and an approachable mentor. Dr. Ellis' efforts to support students through their 800-hour clinical internship in the community has been noteworthy and directly contributed to the program's growth, allowing for an increased number of mental health providers in the Northeast Florida area.”

In addition to her work at Jacksonville University, Dr. Ellis runs her own private practice and consulting firm, BeyondME. In her interview with the Jacksonville Business Journal, Dr. Ellis reflected on what has been one of the biggest accomplishments of her career.

“Opening my own private practice has not only been about me entering entrepreneurship, but it is about being a representative of what is possible for people within my community and creating safe spaces for the disadvantaged and disenfranchised within society through mental health services.”

Dr. Ellis credits Jacksonville University for being a cornerstone in her success and a source of motivation, as a mental health practitioner and consultant. “Jacksonville University has played a significant role in shaping my journey here, and I look forward to continuing to give back to our community and working on behalf of the university for many years to come. Together, we can create a brighter future for Northeast Florida."

Read Dr. Ellis’s full interview with Jacksonville Business Journal here.

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