Alumni Spotlights

Ellen Moxley ’13 is headed to Spain to study microbes on a Fulbright grant

After graduating from GCS, Ellen attended Villanova University where in 2015 she was initiated into Alpha Epsilon Delta, a national honor society for pre-professional health students. In the summer of 2016 she worked at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology in Baltimore. It was here, in the Marine Microbiology division, where she assisted on a project to develop probiotics for use in commercial fisheries. Ellen tested different “good” bacteria to see the positive effects they had in fighting marine pathogens, such as those found in shrimp and tilapia. She further developed two types that were very effective, and those bacteria are now called EMM-11 and EMM-5 in her honor.
Because of her work on at Marine and Environmental, the opportunity to work in Spain developed. Having studied in Spain as a junior in college, and the fact that she is professionally bi-lingual, the opportunity to live and work abroad was too great to pass up before she pursues medical school.

Moxley is on an exciting path as she starts her professional career. Those who have spent time with her know, finding new and challenging opportunities is a passion for Ellen. During her first two years of high school, Moxley took part in cross country, field hockey, and lacrosse. However, an avid equestrian, it was competitive horseback riding in which she loved to compete. In order to make that happen she worked with the faculty and administration to find a way to make it happen. “The teachers were always will to work with each individual student in order to customize their schedule in order to customize their individual experience and needs."

GCS is proud to have played a role Ellen’s love of learning and pursuit of her passions. Head of the Upper School Ray Broderick said, “Ellen is a great example of a student who challenged herself at the highest levels and always pursued her passion, even if it meant taking the road less traveled.” We are looking forward to more updates from Ellen in the future.”

What makes GCS a special place?
“GCS is special because of the teachers: they’re always ready to help you out or push you farther. They get know every student, which makes you excited for your classes and makes you want to do well. Most importantly, they teach you how to learn, which is essential in enabling future success. Even beyond the classroom, the teachers are quick to offer a word of advice or share a story. As an alumna, I am glad to have made those special connections through GCS, and I will continue to maintain them as I begin my professional career.”
How well did GCS prepare you for college and beyond?
Going into my freshman year of college, I was nervous for the class load, new teachers and classmates, and everything that living away from home entails. Soon, however, I found success in each class I was taking. GCS not only prepared me to connect quickly with teachers and students, but also provided me with a fundamental academic strategy. In the humanities, I knew how to read and take away the important points of a text, and I was able to contribute to discussion-style classes with ease. Because of the challenging science courses I took at GCS, I knew how to study for biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics courses. Overall, my education at GCS enabled success in my undergraduate career because I entered college having developed key social and academic tools that I could build upon.
What advice do you have for a new GCS student?
“Look at all the opportunities you have and get to know your teachers. If you they don’t have what you want to do, the teachers will do whatever they can to help make that. “
How did GCS nurture you love of science? 
“I have always loved science. But the teachers and courses, especially my AP Biology class and Dr. Moranta inspired me to become a bio major. It was such a positive experience."
An independent school serving students from age 2 through grade 12 in Howard County, Maryland.