Ellen earned three degrees from the University of Iowa: a B.A. in History in 1990, a J.D. in 1993, and a M.A. in Library Science in 1994. Following completion of her Library Science degree, she joined the staff of the University of Iowa Law Library as a Reference Librarian. During her entire tenure at the Library, Ellen has coordinated and taught legal research as part of the first year legal writing program.
The College of Law approved the creation of a 2-credit, pass-fail Advanced Legal Research course for the 1996/1997 academic year, and Ellen coordinated the course and taught selected portions of the course during the Spring 1997 semester. Since that time, Ellen has taught Advanced Legal Research, often with a co-teacher, every spring since 1997 and every summer since 2005. She also teaches State Legal Research: Iowa.
She is a member of the American Association of Law Libraries, the Mid-America Association of Law Libraries, the American Bar Association, and The Iowa State Bar Association, where she was admitted to practice in 1994.