Dallas Elleman

Dallas Elleman's Story

After playing in a rock band, working construction and installing cable TV, Dallas enrolled in college at the age of 30. He earned an internship with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory that changed his life. Twice, he was part of a team that competed as a finalist in the National Science Foundation Community College Innovation Challenge with nine other teams from across the country.

A father of three, he graduated with three associate degrees as an Honors Scholar and received the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship for up to $120,000 to complete his bachelor’s degree. Considered to be the country’s largest private scholarship, it allowed him to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Engineering Physics with an Electrical Engineering concentration in Robotics.

He helped create Tulsa College/High School Aquaponics Mentoring Partnership, or CHAMP, and has remained involved in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math outreach in the community. In addition, he works with the Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance as one of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Solar System Ambassadors for Oklahoma.

His own experiences in entrepreneurship, higher education and STEM were the focus of a TEDx Talk in which he examined the question “Why am I here?” Much like carrying a Swiss army knife around as a tool for all kinds of problems, he believes by answering “Why am I here,” you can solve any number of challenges and use it as a tool to check in with your values and purpose.