Ashley Reynolds '14 has been named a 2013 Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact, a national coalition of colleges and universities dedicated to fostering civic and social responsibility. Reynolds is among 180 students nationally to receive the award, which recognizes college students for their efforts to explore social issues and work toward positive change.
A social work major from Ashburnham, Mass., Reynolds takes a particular interest in community-based research and its use in effecting social change. Through her work in a course titled Community Engagement, she assisted at two local agencies-the Saratoga Center for the Family, an advocacy center for victims of child abuse and domestic violence, and the Center for Hope, an organization that supports families with missing children and adults. She has volunteered at Shelters of Saratoga, a housing and advocacy center for the homeless, and has served as a Big Sister in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.
In the fall semester of 2012, while studying at Payap Univeristy in Chiang Mai, Thailand, Reynolds worked with the agency Grandma Cares, which helps children who have lost parents to HIV/AIDS. She began by teaching English, but noticing a shortage of personnel in key areas she proposed and was approved for additional responsibilities-conducting interviews in the field, compiling reports for the agency and their sponsors, and developing an English education assessment program.
On campus, Reynolds is a go-to person for students seeking help with social science research methodology. She is also an active member of the campus organization Christian Fellowship who reaches out to younger students who may be struggling with the transition to college life.
"Ashley is a multi-talented student who has the drive to make positive social change," said Crystal Moore, associate professor of social work and chair of the department. "She is effective in working directly with people, has strong research skills, and has a high degree of professionalism." Moore and Reynolds are currently working as co-authors on a clinical update of an article by Moore on communication issues in palliative care.