Wolverine Stories: Ellie Robinson

As told by David Warr

For anyone who is questioning themselves, I would tell them to dream big. I never thought I would leave the country, graduate with two majors, and be so involved at UVU.

Ellie Robinson

Photo by Gabriel Mayberry


I was born and raised in Sandy, Utah, and lived in the same house my whole life. My amazing parents provided a great childhood for my younger sister and me. As a little girl, I could always be found playing in the kiddie pool in our backyard. It had a small slide, so I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. I always had a creative imagination, so I loved drawing, creative writing, and dancing. During middle school and high school, I did a lot of dancing. In high school, I was a part of the dance company, production company (which was an acting program), and I was the Sterling Scholar in art, as well as an artist student body officer. People always joked that I should have had a bed in the school because of how involved I was. 

I always wanted to go to college in Utah. I loved the idea of being close to home because my family was so important to me. There was one particular school that I was dead set on attending. One day my mom suggested that I tour some of the other schools in Utah to make sure that I could make the best decision. In my mind, there was no point in taking those other tours because I already knew where I wanted to go. I listened to my mom, and we toured a few schools. Our first tour was to UVU. During the tour, I saw the campus and all its amenities, met the ambassadors and some professors and asked them a ton of questions. As we walked away from the tour, I turned to my mom and said, "This is my school." I felt something special at UVU that I didn't feel on all the other tours. Even when I toured the school that I had my heart set on, I didn't feel the same excitement. 

Throughout high school, I was interested in animation and concept art. In my senior year, I attended the Canyons Technical Education Center, where I left school for half the day and learned how to animate using animation programs. So, going into college, I thought that was the route I would take. However, early into my major, I found that I didn't have the passion for it that many other students seemed to have. I wanted to feel that way about my future career, so I decided to switch my major.

The following summer, I took some film classes to gauge my interest. I had always loved movies, but the thing that ended up drawing me in the most was the tight-knit community within that major. The teachers and students were so fun and kind. I also loved that I would be able to use my creative imagination and artistic abilities. After making the switch, my professors pushed me to be my best, and they gave me opportunities to collaborate on projects with them. 

Many people have to go out and look for opportunities, but at UVU I feel like they were handed to me. I always wanted to travel the world, and through UVU I traveled to Europe twice, once for my senior project and again while doing a study abroad in Italy. One of my most significant accomplishments was completing my first feature-length film script and submitting it to the Austin Film Festival. My professors helped me get on a lot of different sets by putting my name out there. I truly felt like they cared about me and wanted me to succeed. That goes back to the richness of the community within the film department that fosters everyone’s success. It’s not a solo performance. You have a team of cinematographers, directors, producers, and actors backing you up. The relationships that I made within the program helped me love UVU even more.

In spring 2020, I graduated from UVU with a double major in digital cinema and art and design. This was a big accomplishment for me, considering that I completed two majors in five years. Following graduation, I was able to land an amazing job right in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am working as a social media coordinator for a marketing agency. In this position, I am working in various areas, including film, photography, social media, and writing. I want to hone my abilities and continue to learn. My future goals are to master Korean, write another feature-length script, and enhance my writing skills.

When writing, I want to be happy and uplifting because I think there is so much negativity in the world. If someone reads my writing, they can escape from whatever negative place they happen to be at in their lives. If someone feels like they are stuck in their major as I did, I would recommend using a semester to take various classes that sound interesting and see which ones they end up liking. If I hadn't taken the time to figure out my interests, I would have missed out on so many amazing opportunities.  

Throughout college, my biggest roadblock was myself. I would have an idea to do something, and then I would think, "No, I can't do that." For anyone who is questioning themselves, I would tell them to dream big. I never thought I would leave the country, graduate with two majors, and be so involved at UVU. It's the time and place for you, so go for it!