Ellie Calvert: #CommunityCollegeBecause ... It’s A Great Education For Everyone

Stasia Lopez's picture

Ellie Calvert is working towards her Associate of Science at the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) in the hopes to become a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA). She notes, “I have been doing ballet my whole life, and I am a retired professional ballet dancer! I am currently a Pilates and Ballet Instructor at various ballet schools around the city.” 

Ellie Calvert: #CommunityCollegeBecause ... It’s A Great Education For Everyone

How did you choose your major in college? How did you choose CCAC? Did you have a mentor or person who helped guide you through that process? 

I haven't had any experience working in a Physical Therapy environment, but I've had a lot of experience being a patient. I always thought I wanted to be involved in the profession, and after my ballet career, becoming a PTA made the most sense for me. I moved to Pittsburgh in 2019, and after seeing CCAC had a successful and accredited program, it was a no-brainer! 
What student activities were you involved in, while attending college? Were you involved with any activities or work experience outside of school? Any advice for current students about getting involved to gain relevant skills and experience?

I am currently an SPTA Officer for my class and serve as the Education Liaison. Throughout my education prior to CCAC, I never really got involved in any clubs or organizations. That was a goal for me this time around, and it really helps keep you accountable for your work! It has helped me with time management skills, and it's great to have a group of people supporting you! 

Ellie Calvert: #CommunityCollegeBecause ... It’s A Great Education For Everyone
What skills did you gain from being involved and/or working?  

Being involved in my program and working outside of school has taught me how to manage my time so I can still have fun! 

Ellie Calvert: #CommunityCollegeBecause ... It’s A Great Education For Everyone
What special memories, if any, can you share from your time at CCAC? 

So far, I love our labs the most. We learn while having fun, which really is the best way! 
Anything else you'd like to share for your spotlight article? 

As a professional dancer, I was able to perform in so many shows and roles, but there are a few that really stand out! Some of my favorite roles have been the Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker and one of Juliet’s friends in Romeo and Juliet. I was also able to perform George Balanchine’s Serenade as a student, which is one of my favorite ballets! I like to travel as well, and in 2019 I went to Taiwan. It was definitely one of my favorite experiences, and I really hope to go back someday! 

Ellie Calvert: #CommunityCollegeBecause ... It’s A Great Education For Everyone


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Stasia Lopez is the Global Education Editor for Wandering Educators and is Director of Student Life and Engagement at the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC), as well as an Instructor for a class on "The Job Search" at CCAC. She graduated with her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Western Michigan University in 2013 and earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Robert Morris University. Stasia is passionate about international education, travel, college to career topics and loves working on a college campus. She’s lived in four different U.S. states (Florida, Michigan, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania) and also studied and lived abroad in Rome, Italy. Stasia lives in the Pittsburgh area with her husband, Fernando, precious daughter, Maya, and playful kitty-cat Zorro.