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Alumni Spotlight: Tiana (Wilson) Ellington '11

A Pathway to Higher Education

Although her post high school journey may be considered unconventional for some, Tiana (Wilson) Ellington embraced her own academic timeline and credits Saint Martin with getting her to where she is today.

As a Class of 2011 alumna, Tiana’s class became the final puzzle piece in building the Saint Martin community, as it was the first time Saint Martin had all 4 grade levels in the school at one time. “We were all trying to figure it out together. It was a new experience for everyone: students, board members, faculty and staff. We learned what worked and what didn’t together which is very apparent now with how far Saint Martin has come.”

During her four years at Saint Martin, Tiana was lucky to gain a variety of experiences in the Corporate Work Study Program working at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Cleveland Metropolitan Zoo, BakerHostetler, and Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP. She shared how the work study program put her leaps and bounds over her peers in her age groups as well as other older adults in the work world because it gave her a sense of professional maturity as a 14 year old. She is proud of the strong network and connections she has built as a result of Saint Martin, even having her CWSP Supervisor from Hahn Loeser & Parks at her wedding!

After graduating from Saint Martin in 2011, Tiana attended Ohio State University before transferring to Cuyahoga Community College and completing her Associate’s Degree. As she figured out her next steps, she was invited to come back and work at her CWSP job at Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP where she stayed for 5 years. She eventually took a position as a Secretary IV at Case Western Reserve University and, thanks to Case Western’s free tuition employee benefit, went back to school to receive her bachelor’s degree in psychology and criminal justice at Cleveland State University in 2019.

Following her bachelor’s degree, Tiana continued her education at Case Western’s Weatherhead School of Management to receive her master’s degree in science management in Spring 2021. As she has been going to school, she also has been working full time in her current position as Case Western Reserve University’s Assistant Director of Chapter and Regional Programming for the Central Alumni Association. Through her work with the Alumni Association, Tiana manages all planning, logistics, and promotion of their alumni events. Although she used to travel across the country connecting with alumni and hosting in-person events, her work has shifted to planning virtual engagement activities such as operas, magic shows, and murder mysteries.

Looking ahead, Tiana isn’t ready to stop just yet! She plans to obtain another master’s degree in science management and social administration at the Mandel School of Applied Sciences at Case Western. Although not entirely sure what will come next, Tiana has her eye set on several pathways, including studying for her PhD or becoming a Licensed Social Worker. What she does know is that she would eventually like to work with adults with mental health disabilities potentially in the criminal justice system.

Although her path may have taken longer then some, Tiana could not be happier with where she is today. “Because of Saint Martin and the Corporate Work Study Program, I have been able to secure employment and advance my career in a field where I have found great success. I have been able to have a very nice life, and I circle all of that back to my time at Saint Martin.”



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