Irina Ellison

  • Associate Professor, Health Sciences
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Irina Ellison, Ph.D. is a Professor in the School of Health and Natural Sciences and Activity Director on two Title V Grants, ACCESS and COMPASS.    

A dedicated and experienced academic leader, Dr. Ellison has served in a variety of both appointed and elected academic leadership roles across the institution including as Associate Dean of the School of Health and Natural Sciences, Chair of Natural Sciences, Program Director of Health Science and Co-Director of the University-wide Global Honors Program.

At Mercy, Dr. Ellison serves as Chair of the Teaching and Learning Advisory Committee and as the representative of the School of Health and Natural Sciences on the Diversity Dialogues Steering Committee and Honors Advisory Committee.  She has served broadly on a variety of committees including as co-chair of the University-wide Committee on Student Success and Engagement (CSSE) and as co-chair of the Inter-Professional Education (IPE) Committee, where she initiated and led the IPE Semi-Annual Common Read and Panel Discussion from 2017-2023.  

She co-founded and co-directs the Art in the Lab workshops, which give scientists and artists the opportunity to collaborate to create art based on active laboratory experiences. 

Dr. Ellison is thrilled to bring her passion for and experience with interdisciplinary education, service learning and building human connections to Mercy University to improve the success of her beloved students!

Ph.D. in Pathology, New York Medical College

B.A. in Biology, Vassar College

Dr. Ellison's interdisciplinary research interests focus on the public health of cigarette smoking as well as issues surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion, interprofessional education (IPE) and student success. 

She currently serves as an Activity Director on the ACCESS (Advancing Curricular Change to Enhance Student Success) grant, a Title V grant aimed at improving student outcomes in Anatomy and Physiology I and as an Activity Director on the COMPASS (Connecting Mercy Pathways and Student Supports) grant, a Title V grant aimed at developing and implementing a new general education curriculum, including a first year experience, with the goal of creating more meaningful academic pathways to position students for success.

She formerly served as the Project Director of the NEA Big Read - Mercy University (2022-2023), Mercy's first NEA grant award.  A program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, this grant was designed to broaden our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book.

Dr. Ellison has lead the Supplemental Instruction Learning Fellows program at Mercy University since 2018 and has presented on the impacts that the program has had on student success both nationally and internationally.  

In 2021, she was co-awarded a Faculty Development Grant for her project, "Perspectives of Underserved Minority Students on Mercy University Health Professions Programs." 

In 2018, she was awarded a grant by the Truth Initiative, a nonprofit tobacco control organization dedicated to achieving a culture where all youth and young adults reject tobacco.

At Mercy University, Dr. Ellison primarily teaches Anatomy and Physiology, Pathology, Global Health and Forensic Science.  She has over 20 years of experience teaching science to undergraduate and graduate students in and around both New York City and Westchester County.

Dr. Ellison has extensive experience developing curricula and courses across Biology, Health Science and Honors. 

An inclusive excellence educator, she is passionate about positioning her students for success!