Amazing Students Profiles

Ashley Stroud

Ashley Stroud

Ashley Stroud, a Master of Social Work student, has focused like a laser on her academic goals and has compiled an impressive list of awards and accomplishments along the way.


Decatur, Ga.

High School:

DeKalb School of Arts

Degree objective:

Master of Social Work

Expected graduation:

Summer 2014

University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:

—May 2014: UGA Taiwan Study Abroad (Public Health and Aging)
—August 2013: Association of Gerontology Education in Social Work Aracelis Francis Minority Scholarship in Gerontology
—July 2013-July 2014: Graduate student representative, board of directors, National Association of Social Workers, Georgia Chapter
—June 2013: Southeastern Association of Area Agencies on Aging Scholarship
—May-August 2013: National Council on Aging Fellow, Washington, D.C.
—April 2013: Sigma Phi Omega, student member of national academic honor and professional society in gerontology
—March 2013: Outstanding Georgia Citizen, Georgia secretary of state
—Dec. 12, 2012: Proclamation of “Ashley Stroud Day,” DeKalb County, Ga.
—October 2012: Family Caregiver of the Year 2012, Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving

Current Employment:

Emory Healthcare, Wesley Woods Geriatric Hospital (January 2013-May 2014)
Master of Social Work Field Practicum:
—Long Term Acute Care Hospital
—Inpatient Geriatric Neuropsychiatry, Inpatient Geriatric Psychiatry and Geriatric Partial Hospitalization Program

Family Ties to UGA:

—Mother, Angela Stroud, 1971 alumna, College of Education.
—Grandmother, Lois Riley, 1934 alumna, Jeruel Academy/Union Baptist Institute (historical marker erected in 2001 by the Georgia Historical Commission/Society on the UGA campus near Brumby Hall). This academy was founded in 1881 at Landrum Chapel (Ebenezer Baptist Church, West) by the Rev. Collins Henry Lyons. In 1886, a new facility was constructed at this site, now on the UGA campus. Here, black youths were taught college preparatory courses in English, Greek, Latin, French, history, mathematics, public speaking, agriculture, sewing, cooking, music and printing. In 1924, the school consolidated with three other institutions to become Union Baptist Institute. The institute was dissolved and the building demolished in 1956 following desegregation and consolidation of the local public schools.

I chose to attend UGA because…

… I was excited about being able to have exposure to the College of Public Health’s Institute of Gerontology so that I could pursue gerontology courses offered there and pursue my passion for aging. Also, I live in a house about 18 miles away from the Athens campus in Jefferson. My grandmother was born in Jefferson in 1921 and traveled by horse and buggy to Union Baptist Institute on the UGA campus. I have lots of relatives who still live in Jefferson. I actually live on my family’s land that has been passed down to me as a fourth-generation landowner.

My favorite things to do on campus are…

I love to have lunch at Red Clay Cafe or The Village Summit dinning hall in Joe Frank Harris Commons. I like to visit the Georgia Museum of Art to see the new exhibitions.

When I have free time, I like…

… to relax at Natural Body Spa, watch movies, go bowling, go to Piedmont Park and travel.

My favorite place to study is…

… the UGA main library, Tucker Hall/School of Social Work computer lab or in the comfort of my own home.

My favorite professor is…

My favorite professor is Linda A. Long of the School of Social Work. Dr. Long has been a bright ray of light for me as I travel my journey as a graduate student in the SSW. I have taken many of her classes because I enjoy her as a professor and as a professional. She always provides numerous amounts of resources and articles that are relative to our didactic studies. She is very approachable and always willing to listen and advise. I have yet to have a professor as student-centered and hyper-aware of her communication and relations with students as she is. She is an inspiration and a role model for me to remain genuine and person-centered as I emerge as a social work professional. Every student needs an academic mentor for advisement and growth. She has served me in both capacities and I am grateful to have had her support.

I also appreciate having Tiffany Washington in the School of Social Work. She has many accomplishments related to aging and research. Currently, she is the only professor in my department that has a teaching interest in aging and public policy and social work practice with older adults. She is also a John A. Hartford Doctoral Fellow, which is for outstanding doctoral students whose dissertation research is focused on improving the health and well-being of older persons and their families. Dr. Washington is very kind and approachable. She has encouraged me to continue to pursue my aging interest and has provided me with valuable information. It’s always wonderful when there is a faculty member in your department who has aligning interests or experience.

Last but not least, I really appreciate June Gary Hopps. I took her social work policy class my first semester. This class has resonated with me all through my graduate studies. She has left a lasting impression on me of how important policies are to the clients we serve in social services and to the profession itself. Without taking her class I would have never been exposed and awakened to the policy process. I often find myself researching state and government policies and bills that may affect older adults and their families. During the summer, I met with my congressman to ask for his sponsorship of the social work reinvestment act.

If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with…

… Kathy Greenlee, who serves in the dual roles of administrator of the Administration for Community Living and assistant secretary for aging. Ms. Greenlee was appointed by President Obama as assistant secretary for aging at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Senate in June 2009. I was able to hear her speak briefly in person while I was doing a fellowship in Washington, D.C., with the National Council on Aging.

If I knew I could not fail, I would…

… charge full force at accomplishing my goals, dreams and explorations. Fear would not be a factor.

After graduation, I plan to…

… work in an aging related or medical social work occupation. My areas of interest are working with caregivers, geriatric clients and women. I will immediately be working toward my Licensed Master of Social Work and Licensed Clinical Social Worker so that I may practice individual and group therapy. I plan to learn more and be trained in eye movement desensitization reprocessing as a therapeutic intervention for clients experiencing grief and trauma. Eventually, I would like to become a geriatric care manager and a certified elder law attorney working with special needs and health care law.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…

… my upcoming graduation day! Another memorable experience was the first time I rode UGA transportation with a few classmates. I was in awe at how big the campus is and how regularly transportation comes to pick you up. My undergraduate school was smaller and you usually could park near the building you planned on entering.