B-CU: Transforming Lives, One Student at a Time

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Dr. Ashley N. Jennings is a 2012 graduate of Bethune-Cookman University earning a Master of Science in transformative leadership. Born in Youngstown, Ohio and raised in Central Florida, Jennings has a deep experience that connects her to B-CU. She currently serves as the assistant director of the B-CU Deltona Campus.

“As an African American, Spanish-speaking woman, it’s wonderful to work - not only at an institution that celebrates diversity - but in the city of Deltona which has benefited from our presence,” said Jennings.

Attending Bethune-Cookman University was a pivotal moment in her life and propelled her to pursue her professional and academic aspirations. Jennings attributes her academic success to the unwavering love and confidence she gained as a graduate student. 

“My undergraduate experience painted a vastly different picture of my abilities. There was a lot of sadness and frustration overcoming challenges with a learning disability and losing my father at 22-years old to a terminal illness. Despite wanting to attend B-CU and applying several times, academically I didn’t have the grades. However, when I prepared for graduate school I was determined, knowing that if given the opportunity, I would go above and beyond to exemplify what it means to Enter to Learn and Depart to Serve. Receiving that admissions letter changed my life, and I share that experience every opportunity I get.”

Jennings completed her terminal degree in Organizational Leadership with Conflict Resolution Minor in Fall 2017 from Nova Southeastern University. Her dissertation was entitled “Exploring the Leadership Experiences of Minority Women in a Black Greek Letter Sorority.”

Major themes identified from her research include the need for increased meaningful mentorship, empowerment and leadership development for minority women. 

“These are key influences for minority women to thrive in both social and professional arenas, especially when navigating male-dominated fields,” she noted.

 Currently, Jennings attends the University of Florida where she is pursuing a Master of Science in medical science - gerontology and a certificate in geriatric care management. Jennings long-term career goal is to be an educator and leader in higher education.

“B-CU continues to provide me with opportunities to work with outstanding mentors in both fields and develop the skills required to effect positive change. There is an urgent need to address health disparities among the aging adult population, particularly in our community. I see Bethune-Cookman University as a beacon of light that has an established history of healing our community and bringing forth its talents. From the bottom of my heart I am truly proud to be a Wildcat!”

Jennings is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and Gamma Sigma Sigma Sorority. She is also affiliated with Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education, The Golden Key International Honor Society and is active in the American Society on Aging, The Gerontological Society of America, and American Geriatrics Society.