Faculty feature: Ellis Antoon, an advocate for a better future

Mekayla Jenkins

Photo Editor

Ellis Antoon is considered one of the gems of NSU by faculty and students. He began his career as a researcher after graduating from Louisiana Tech with a master’s degree in medical and health sciences.

Antoon never really thought about becoming a professor until he realized how much he enjoyed teaching and learning from others in the health and sciences field.

“I never really thought about being a professor,” Antoon said. “I decided that I wanted to teach future med students, nurses and just students in the health profession.”

Antoon hopes to inspire his students to be more than doctors and nurses but actual caretakers. He believes that if health professionals get to know their patients on more than a surface level, it would create a more comfortable environment for practicing health professionals and their patients.

This is Antoon’s fifth year at NSU. When taking Antoon’s courses, students will learn a lot more than the core material. They will learn things that will help beyond their career.

Believe or not, environmental science didn’t even exist before Antoon’s arrival.

His fiery passion for helping the environment was sparked by his daughter who learned and spoke up about climate change and wanting a better world for the future.

“My daughter, I learn so much from her,” Antoon said “I’m not ready for grandkids yet, but when I do have them, I want a better world for them.”

Through his daughter and his hero Gretta, an advocate for climate change, he was inspired to jump start the Environmental Catalyst Organization, better known as ECO.

“I look at it this way: if we don’t take this, we’re doomed,” he said. “This world is our home, and we have to take care of it and each other.”

Antoon said that he learns from the young people as much they learn from him.

“Why start this at NSU?” Antoon asked. “Well, why not NSU?”

Antoon teaches in hopes of inspiring students to just be proactive in life. Antoon speaks passionately about his students, who he refers to as his kids.

“I want my students to know that I’m telling them things that they need to know,” he said. “I want my kids to be aware of what’s going on because they are the future. They are very important to me. I don’t want to do anything else. I don’t want to go anywhere else because we are like family here.”

“I’ve always been a fan of Natchitoches and of NSU,” he said. “Everyone in my family always embraced NSU, and if something big and positively life changing happens, I want it to happen here.”

Antoon wants his students to know that he will not give up on them just like he won’t give up advocating for change.

“I don’t quit on my students,” Antoon said. “I believe in them and that they are the future. This is reality, and that’s what life is after college.”

 

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