As an Associate Professor in the English Department, Dr. Hannah Ashley earned her undergraduate degree in human development and family studies at Cornell University, in the College of Human Ecology, one of the state branches of the otherwise private university. Her undergraduate concentrations were in English and women’s studies. Ashley then continued her education at Temple University earning both a Masters and a P.h.D. from the College of Education focusing on interdisciplinary urban education.
Ashley has been teaching at WCU since Fall 2000 and has been teaching for a total of twenty years; her teaching experiences vary and she teaches everything from basic writing to 600 level graduate courses here at WCU. One of her favorite courses to teach is “Queer Quotes, Perverted Paraphrases, Plagiarism: Reported Discourse on the Edge.” Her list of publications is long, but some include, “The Art of Queering Voices: a Fugue,” three book chapters and—she hopes–a textbook with Pearson Publishers, the proposal for which is currently under review, called “This is not a textbook/It is a playlist.” Her current academic goal is the publication of this book, which would be for both high school writers and first year college students, focusing on the writing of first generation college students both in and out of school.
Her best academic achievement was starting the Writing Zones program at Kennett High School. This program gives opportunities for West Chester students to work with high school students on their writing.
Ashley’s best non-academic achievement is “raising my three children,” But her non-academic goal is to “continue learning to be a better mother to my children,” Ashley said.
When asked what she loves most about WCU she responded, “a lot of students don’t take their education for granted, so I feel lucky to serve in this community.”
Ashley’s advice to students is “study what you love in college because you are unlikely to be doing what you originally study a few years later. Also, try not to pay for graduate school– get them to pay you instead.” She also advises, “don’t get a tattoo before you are 40.”
Rebekah Balmer is a fifth-year student majoring in women’s and gender Studies and sociology. She can be reached at RB649636@wcupa.edu.