Student Spotlight: Ashley Lee

Published: August 4th, 2015

Category: Student Spotlight

ALMeet Ashley Kate Lee, a rising senior on the Pre-Occupational Therapy track in the Bachelor of Health Science program. Since suffering from a fractured leg in high school and seeing firsthand how difficult recovery can be, it has been her desire to help assist others through rehabilitation. During her internship at St. Augustine Orthopedics in 2012, she was able to witness both physical and occupational therapists work together to develop a detailed plan for each patient in need. Daily rewards were gained both by the patients and the providers when improvements were made and quality of life was regained. Ashley has interned at several other clinics in the Gainesville area including Baby Gator, Balance 180, and Fundamental Therapy Solutions, which helped narrow her focus to pediatrics. She greatly enjoys being intellectually challenged, and loves learning how to improve cognitive, physical, and motor skills of children, and can’t wait to play a role in their healing.

Ashley has gained vast experience in leadership and service from her time at the University of Florida. She was recently selected to become the 2015-2016 Junior Executive Director of the Bachelor of Health Science’s L.E.A.P program. The L.E.A.P. program aims to provide mentorship to undergraduate freshman and sophomores whom intend to enter the Bachelor of Health Science program. Ms. Lee is also an active member of the Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA) and will be the Dance Marathon delegate for SOTA in the 2015-2016 academic year.

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Education for young females is also a passion of Ashley’s. Previously the Director of Marketing and Member of the Month (March 2015) for the organization She’s the First * {UF}, Ashley works with other like minded individuals to raise money for scholarships that support girls education in the developing world. This summer Ashley attended the 4th annual She’s The First Leadership Summit in New York City where she was able to network with others, and acquire vast knowledge from inspiring and successful women who offered much wisdom in this arena. Jennifer Simon, former Director of International Affairs for the First Lady Michelle Obama as well as, Meighan Stone, president of the Malala fund were just a couple of admirable speakers changing the world. Ashley’s goal is to boost awareness and raise funds to assist each young girl in need, one girl at a time.

For as long as she can remember, Ashley has loved to travel the world. Panama is the home of Manos de Fe (Hands of Faith), an orphanage that her father co-founded and a place that is very close to Ashley’s heart. She continues to visit the orphanage every summer with no plans to ever stop serving there. In June of this year, Ashley had the opportunity of traveling to Panama with Global Medical Training (GMT). She, with 54 other undergraduate students, worked closely under physician supervision to observe and actively participate in the medical assessments and treatments of very ill patients. Such people included those with scarce economic resources, poor access to health care, and were living within various primitive types of Public Health care systems. Ashley plans to travel to India with the UF GMT team on the upcoming winter break trip. It is her privilege to give back.

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Lately, research has become a new interest of Ashley’s. This previous year after finishing the required Research Methods class taught by Dr. Pomeranz, she has taken on the role of Research Assistant under William “Parker” Hinson, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Behavioral Science and Community Health (BSCH). As a research assistant, Ashley is responsible for collecting survey’s from adolescents and young adults in the Alachua county area regarding community stances and preferences towards the adoption of mobile applications for mental health and management. She is learning so much about this branch in the community.

Lastly, Ashley will be graduating this May with a Bachelor of Health Science degree and is very much looking forward obtaining a Masters of Occupational Therapy degree in graduate school. Her credentials and experience will lead her down the pediatric world of OT, globally traveling and serving in poverty stricken areas, raising awareness and funds for causes she is passionate about, and perhaps continuing in the world of research. She aspires to be a local leader known for her knowledge and expertise.