Ashlee Iber is simply one of the most dedicated service leaders you'll meet on the UNH campus. Her major, her career goals, her passion, her dreams, and her spare time are all focused on one worthy endeavor: to serve the community.
A junior from Barrington, New Hampshire, Ashlee is majoring in Community Development. Not afraid to do something bold and unique, Ashlee is actually attempting to be the first UNH student to earn a degree in Community Service and Leadership through the Thompson School while simultaneously earning a bachelor's degree in Community Development through the UNH College of Life Sciences and Agriculture. "The Community Service and Leadership program offers a wealth of hands-on experiences that will help prepare me for my career and make me a better volunteer in general. The Community Development major provides a solid foundation for learning about planning aspects, administration, and government relationships in community development. Taking advantage of both programs will make me a stronger job candidate and leader for my community when I leave UNH."
During her time here, Ashlee has devoted herself to a number of campus and community initiatives. Ashlee is currently serving as the Co-Service Chair for Alpha Phi Omega, the UNH community service fraternity; she is also the President of the UNH chapter of Colleges Against Cancer (Ashlee started the UNH chapter and recently traveled to Dallas, Texas for a national training conference). Ashlee has also been involved with the Hetzel Hall Council, the Relay for Life Leadership Committee, Emerging Leaders, the Project LEAD program, the MLK Summit experience, and Leadershape. Applying what she has learned as a student and service leader, Ashlee has helped organize a warmth drive at UNH and recently presented at the MLK Service and Activism Conference. As a member of the Barrington community, Ashlee has served on the Barrington Community Playground Committee, and she has served as a Tobacco Prevention Specialist for the Dover Coalition for Youth. She is also an intern for the American Cancer Society.
During her tenure here at UNH, Ashlee has had some wonderful mentors who have helped shape her leadership style. "Kate Hanson, a professor who runs the Community Service and Leadership program, has been great. She treats her students as equals and she has always been deeply committed to community service. The CSL program was a dream of hers; she's an excellent role model." Ashlee has also been involved in leadership programs at UNH, participating in Emerging Leaders and the Leadershape experience. She credits Jen Ramsay, a staff member who has led many of these efforts, as someone who has had significant influence on her as well. "Jen was one of the first people I met here at UNH. She's positive, friendly, and has such a great outlook on life and student experiences." These mentors' influence on Ashlee will serve her well when she graduates from UNH. Her plan is to work for a non-profit agency, most likely in the field of tobacco prevention, health promotion, or social marketing.
When asked why service is so important to her, Ashlee claims that serving the community is a duty we all share, "community service is usually not the most popular thing to do but it should be." Ashlee is one of those rare college students who truly understands how much she's been given and feels compelled to offer something back in return. "A lot of us are lucky to have been born healthy and to have good support systems - only a small percentage of the country is able to go to college. We all have tough times and everyone needs help but we were put on this earth to make a difference and I'm going to do just that." For students following in her footsteps, Ashlee offers some motivation to get involved. "You don't have to wait to make a difference. A lot of people say they will do things later when it comes to their career interests or community service. With most things, if you really put your mind to it, you can do more than you thought you could - the time to make a difference is now."
Ashlee has certainly made a difference in her time at UNH. The campus and community have benefited a great deal as a result.