Elliot Bell, a Junior Physics major from Lakeville, Minn., is respected among those who know him as an incredibly personable, thoughtful and passionate friend. Elliot, who is a second-year Collegiate Fellow (CF) in Southwest Hall, has lived in the same room for both of his years as a CF. His experience during his first year at Gustavus motivated him to apply to be a CF in subsequent years.
“I lived in Co-Ed as a first-year, and I got to know the guys on my floor, and we had a lot of good times. After that, I wanted to [become a CF] and help people get to know each other. It seemed like the right thing to do,” Elliot said.
Elliot really enjoyed the one-on-one conversations that the CF program encouraged and the opportunity to get to know people.
“Whether someone had an issue they were struggling with or just needed someone to listen to them, they could come to me. It’s nice getting to know someone on that really deep level,” Elliot said.
“Elliot really makes you feel important when you’re having a conversation with him,” Junior John Yost said. “I
appreciate that he’s willing to listen, but also to offer advice.”
“Elliot has impacted the Gustavus community through his dedication to people,” Area Coordinator Shawn Grygo said. “He juggles many responsibilities, but always takes time for people. Gustavus is a place that values individual relationships, and I know that many seek advice from Elliot.”
“My favorite part of being a CF, in addition to getting to know people, is the fun we have together. We have barbecues twice a year, and they allow people to get to see and interact with people who may not be in the academic or social circles that people sometimes limit themselves to,” Elliot said.
In addition to his duties as a CF, Elliot also enjoys participating in Gustavus Choir, Society of Physics Students (SPS) activities, Cantering for worship, a Bible Study that he hosts in his room and selling jewelry.
“Elliot is exceedingly passionate about Physics, jewelry, family, and the video game League of Legends,” Yost said. “He’s also very good at communicating his passion to others.”
When Elliot is not at Gustavus, he works at the jewelry retailor Jared, specializing in Swiss timepieces.
“I really, really, really, really love it. It’s fun, dynamic work that echoes what I do as a CF. I get to have really meaningful conversations and find out about people from all walks of life,” Elliot said.
Elliot also brings a level of excellence to Gustavus that friends admire.
“Elliot elevates the excellence of any organization or group that he is in. He has elevated the excellence of the Gustavus Choir, the Physics Department and the Residential Life staff,” Yost said. “Without trying, he actually personifies one of the five pillars of Gustavus.”
“Elliot strives to be excellent and won’t take above average as being okay,” Grygo said. “His interactions with residents and individual support and advice that he gives to students is amazing.”
People who know Elliot also value his positive attitude and the balance that he finds in his life.
“I appreciate how much enthusiasm he has for the things that he loves,” Junior Matt Erdahl said. “He doesn’t hold anything back. He’s a really good example of someone who’s really involved, but not overwhelmed. I rarely see him too stressed about stuff because he knows himself really well.”
“He is a fun young person to be around. He takes good natured kidding with grace and humor,” Elliot’s advisor and Physics Professor Paul Saulnier said.
Elliot credits his faith as the primary motivator for his actions and attitudes.
“The one thing I want people to know about me is that all that I do I do for the glory of God. I think that gets swept under the rug a lot of the time, which is kind of a shame,” Elliot said.
Elliot’s number one piece of advice for Gustavus students is “the more you expand your world-view and broaden your scope, the more you’ll realize what’s really important and the less you focus on the little things like grades or who’s gossiping about whom. As time goes on, those things all come and go, but the really long-lasting relationships that you forge with people, those are the things that matter. The hard lessons that we struggle through are the important things. That’s what helps you grow.”
After Gustavus, Elliot is considering graduate school for physics or engineering, but is not ruling out a career in selling jewelry.
“Working with Elliot for almost two years has been fantastic, and I hope that everyone on this campus gets to know how wonderful he is,” Grygo said.