This week’s campus celeb is an international superstar who counts Carolina as only one of the many beautiful places he’s visited and called home. A native of Market Drayton, Shropshire, England, he came to UNC as a Morehead Scholar and has taken this campus by storm. Read on to find out more about this global citizen.
HerCampus: What’s your favorite place you’ve traveled so far, and why?
James Ellsmoor: I lived in Madagascar for four months before I started at UNC. It is an absolutely amazing country and the people are phenomenal. I’d never been anywhere so poor, and when I got off the plane it was extremely daunting to make my way to the hotel I was staying in alone. After that I travelled around the country a bit by local bus – taxibrousses – that carried everything that people needed from goats and chickens, to furniture and coffins. I spent a lot of time visiting national parks and seeing the wildlife. The village I stayed in had a small church, home to a family of lemurs, and I would just go and watch them during the day.
HC: You’re involved with the Carolina International Relations Association. Can you tell us a little more about what you guys do?JE: CIRA is an umbrella organization for several different branches, but our main activity is Model UN. I do competitions and travel to other universities to compete. My main job is bringing speakers to campus, and I have developed a good relationship with several former U.S. Ambassadors in the triangle area that often come and talk to our members.
HC: You’re also involved in the start-up company Solar Heads of State. What’s your role in that organization and why are you passionate about its work?JE: Solar Heads of State is a non-profit. We campaign to promote renewable energy across the world, and encourage leaders to be active in climate leadership. My job is reaching out and working with countries to encourage them to accept the offer of panels for their government buildings.HC: What heads of state have you talked into putting solar panels on their houses? Any crazy stories?JE: I work mostly with small island countries in the Pacific and the Caribbean. I regularly email Ministers in the government of those countries and get in touch with ambassadors and even the Vice President. A lot of the countries we work with are at serious risk of completely disappearing if sea levels rise even a metre, and so the issues are very important to them. I’m hoping to visit Tokelau in the Spring while I study abroad in New Zealand, as I now know several members of their government quite well and am working on several projects with them. It is a tiny country of 2,000 people and the only way to get there is on a 24-hour boat ride from Samoa.HC: What are you hoping to do after graduation? What’s your dream job?JE: I want to work somewhere like the UN or World Bank but if that doesn’t work out, I’d like to move to Australia and work in a bar.
HC: What do you miss most about home when you’re at UNC?JE: I miss my family and friends at home a lot, as I only get to go home twice a year. HC: What attracted you to Carolina, and why are you proud to be a Tar Heel now that you’re here?JM: I love the campus and the people.