“I think one of the most important things that I took away from CBU is the connections that I made with the people at CBU. Not only the connections that I made with peers and classmates who turned into lifelong friends, but also the connections with professors and other staff have remained important to me. For example, my advisor at CBU was Dr. Maureen O’Brien — she made such a huge impact on my life that she is still a part of my life now. Other professors and staff who touched my life were Dr. Tracie Burke, Dr. Rena Durr, and Dr. Mario Brown, all of whom I remain in contact with today.”

As a Psychology major at CBU, Ashley Jones Lacy was a member of Psi Chi Psychology Honor Society and the Psychology Club, and she also served as a Lasallian Ambassador. She was a very active member of the Mu Epsilon Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, serving as Vice President and Programming Chair and was recognized regionally and nationally with the 2010 Miss Outstanding AKA Award and the Undergraduate of the Year award for the Southeastern region. In her sophomore year, she was selected by her CBU peers as the Outstanding New Greek Member and was chosen as one of 14 undergraduate AKA members across the nation to serve as a 2009 Leadership Fellow. She was also an active member of the Black Student Association.

In her senior year, Ashley was selected to the CBU Lasallian Fellows Class of 2011 and was the recipient of the Brother Louis Althaus Circle Award, which recognized graduating seniors who were tangible examples of the ideas espoused by the Christian Brothers. These two prestigious honors both recognized her leadership abilities and her devotion to community service — which included her role as a Peer Educator with Girls Incorporated of Memphis, her work with Porter-Leath Children’s Center as a Program Coordinator and Co-Chairman of their Youth Advisory Council (which she also helped form), and her position as Director of Mentoring with MIFA’s College Offers Opportunities for Life (COOL) Program, where she educated students on life skills designed to keep them on track for college and matched them with college-student mentors.

Following her cum laude graduation with a BA in Psychology from CBU in 2011, Ashley continued her mentoring work with MIFA and enrolled at the University of Memphis School of Public Health in pursuit of her Master of Public Health degree. She also interned at Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi (PPTNM) as a “sexpert” peer educator and earned her certification in HIV testing and counseling. She graduated with her MPH with a concentration in Social and Behavioral Health in 2013.

Ashley then went to work full-time for PPTNM as a Youth Educator and eventually Director of Education, providing education, advocacy, and training to Memphis-area youth. Through PPTNM, she also served as the Reproductive Education and Advocacy Fellow for the Black Lifestyle Advocates for Culture and Knowledge (BLACK) Program.

In 2018, Ashley realized that her work in public health had led her to a desire to provide hands-on healthcare, and she entered the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. She received her BSN in 2019 and today works as a Registered Nurse in the operating room at Methodist University Hospital.

Throughout her career in public service, Ashley has also continued to volunteer for community organizations and services. She served on the Board of Directors and several committees for the Tennessee Hemophilia and Bleeding Disorders Foundation and has served as a Screening Facilitator for the Educational Program to Increase Colorectal Cancer Screenings (EPICS) Research Project. She is a graduate of New Memphis’ Embark Program as well as a graduate of the Junior League of Memphis LEAD Program. She is also still an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and serves as a mentor to young members and initiates. She was named to The Memphis Flyer “20 < 30” Class of 2019, which annually recognizes young people who will be shaping the future of the city.

I truly believe CBU’s motto ‘Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve’ is one of the most important lessons that I learned there. I believe CBU instills the importance of service to students and provides and encourages an environment that is service-oriented. Most of the work that I have done since leaving CBU has been service-oriented, and I believe that CBU helped shaped that in me.