Alumni Spotlight: Ashley Lynn Babcock '06
MA English, Rutgers University
EdD Higher Education Leadership, Argosy University
Assistant Director, Montgomery College
My Widener Experience
why did you decide to major in english/creative writing?
From a very early age, I was always reading books and writing poems; however, when I first thought of a potential career, I wanted to use my writing talents to major in journalism. Once I found out Widener was starting a creative writing major, my plan changed, and I decided to follow what I innately loved to do.
I remember the first day that I walked into the English and creative writing suite. I knew I was where I belonged. It didn't take long and I was hooked. I knew I wanted to inspire students like my professors inspired me.
what is your favorite memory of widener?
I have so many fond memories of Widener, but I think my favorite memory is from my time as editor of the literary journal. My associate editors and I—two dear friends of mine—pulled a few long nights the week before spring break to meet our publication deadline. We alternated between editing the journal, finishing midterm papers, and sleeping (very little).
It was a long week, but worth it in the end. I learned a lot that week. The experience taught me deadlines are important, but loving what you do is also crucial.
My Professional Experience
how have leadership skills learned at widener helped you to succeed?
Several experiences at Widener helped me recognize that I had natural leadership potential. I was fortunate to have several mentors and to participate in honor societies, clubs, and positions that further developed those leadership capabilities. However, the most valuable leadership experience was my participation in the Student Ambassadors and ODK, the National Leadership Honor Society.
The Student Ambassadors provided me with etiquette and interview training, the chance to lobby the Pennsylvania State Senate, and the chance to meet and dine with several political figures, including former Governor Rendell. These opportunities helped guide my career path in higher education.
what advice would you give a prospective student considering your major?
With so much emphasis on STEM education and majors that yield jobs, I would tell students that for me, majoring in English and creative writing has been invaluable, and they should not underestimate the value of a humanities education. A student who majors in English/creative writing will have the opportunity to hone three crucial skills—critical thinking, writing, and debating.
A student who is an English or writing major shows employers that they are creative, think deeply, and have knowledge on a vast amount of subjects. If the humanities are your passion, major in them and never look back!