Ashley was given Special Recognition for Graduate Student Leadership by the Graduate Collage for her work co-founding and leading ENVISION (Engineers Volunteering in STEM EducatION), an engineering graduate student organization that focuses on engineering outreach. ENVISION is a now a registered graduate student organization (RSO) whose mission is to increase opportunities for STEM outreach participation and to promote leadership, communication, and teaching opportunities for graduate students.
Ashley’s work with ENVISION, its members and the participants has had a lasting impact on several sub-populations of the campus community as well as the Champaign-Urbana community outside of the University. She has made it possible for numerous local K-12 schools and events to benefit from STEM outreach. She has done so while not only leveraging existing programs, but also by cultivating new partnerships and has made it a priority to reach a diverse group of students. She has also provided leadership and science communication opportunities to her graduate student colleagues. One colleague said, “She encourages our event chairs to try new, interesting activities and gives them the creative freedom to experiment.” Another said, “I know my graduate student experience would not have been the same if it weren’t for Ashley founding and encouraging me to be a part of ENVISION.”
ENVISION has grown from just a handful of active members to over 100 active members in all engineering departments and educational psychology, in just two years. This level of growth is truly remarkable. We are proud of Ashley and grateful for her contributions!