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Commencement Speaker: Nicholas Elleman

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Nicholas Elleman
Ever since he was a child, Nicholas Elleman was pushed to his limits. He was encouraged to experience and try new things and that mentality continued during his time at Northern Kentucky University. 

Growing up in nearby Hebron, Kentucky, with two younger sisters, Nicholas was raised by extremely supportive parents. He played a variety of sports along with several instruments. Once he found himself on NKU’s campus, Nicholas discovered the university would help him maintain his momentum. 

“From day one, I could see that NKU was a community that supported one another that promoted growth from the ground up,” he says. “Athletics prompted my decision to look more into NKU, but my ultimate decision to come to NKU was after my visit seeing how supportive and strong the NKU community was together. Everyone treats each other fairly, and everyone pushes each other and that is what I love about my decision to come here.”
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"I am extremely grateful for my experience here at NKU, and as I reflect on my last four years and my class’ last four years, I really believe that NKU has given me and my class the chance to shine in our time here."

As a business information systems major and a business minor, Nicholas describes his focus as helping to facilitate the connection between the information technology world and the business world at organizations. While studying at NKU, he was an active scholar. He participated in student research, co-authored three publications and won an award for best paper at the International Conference on Information Management 2020. He also served as president of the College of Informatics Ambassadors group. 

But Nicholas’ accomplishments aren’t just academic. The 22 year old was also on the men’s tennis team. In fact, his favorite NKU memory overall is a tennis team trip to Orlando, Florida, in March 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic canceled sports events. While in Orlando, NKU played against three other teams at the United States Tennis Association National Campus.

“While there, we had the ability to go to Disney (World), and the team chemistry grew immensely in just a few days,” he says. “I will certainly remember that trip for the rest of my life and I will always be grateful for the relationships that being on the team has given me.” 

Nicholas speaks proudly of being pushed outside his comfort zone during his NKU college career and tells prospective students they will experience similar growth. 

“I would say if you want to be pushed out of your comfort zone while building relationships and having a supportive community base that makes you feel still in your comfort zone, go to NKU,” he says.

Nicholas, who will be a speaker during spring 2021 Commencement, summarized his commencement speech as “hiccups are going to happen along the way, how will you respond?”

After graduation, Nicholas will work as an information assurance analyst at a technology startup. He thanks the NKU community for providing him with several opportunities. 

“I am extremely grateful for my experience here at NKU, and as I reflect on my last four years and my class’ last four years, I really believe that NKU has given me and my class the chance to shine in our time here,” he says. “We have been through more than anyone ever could have imagined and now we are ready for any curveball thrown at us.”

About This Article

Trey Crumbie
Contributor, NKU Magazine
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Published April 2021
Photography by Scott Beseler
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