Staff Profile

Ashley Stowe

Can you describe the journey that has led you to the DSAN program?

A full description would be a long-form Atlantic-level article! But, more succinctly, I have always been passionate about storytelling in all of its forms. I have a BA in Theatre, have been a singer since childhood, and a voracious reader. Before coming to Georgetown I worked for the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center in Charlotte, NC in a patron relations role. I was drawn to the idea of this newly created role in the DSAN program, that I could shape and create based on the needs of the program, not to mention the marriage of creativity and interpersonal communication that I knew would be a huge part of my role here. My passion for storytelling and my background in communications and engagement have coalesced into perfect harmony here at DSAN.

What aspects of your work you find most enjoyable and fulfilling, why do those particular elements stand out to you?

Three aspects that stand out are working with Purna and Heather, interacting with our students, and flexing my creative muscles with our communications and marketing!

I really enjoy working with a team that supports initiative and vision. It makes the work feel new and exciting. Our students are absolutely phenomenal and I have been incredibly lucky to get to know so many of them. It is particularly fulfilling to see them create friendships, excel in their work, and find joy within our community. Flexing my creative muscles is what sustains me in many ways.  I have immensely enjoyed learning new creative software programs, storytelling platforms, and web design techniques. I love to think outside the box and learn new ways to create.

What’s the first piece of advice you would give to a DSAN student?

I would encourage students to take advantage of the community that grad school, and our program, in particular, has to offer. There are not many times in your life where you will be surrounded and supported by so many amazing people who can empathize with your highs and lows and make you laugh when you are exhausted.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

A piece of advice I was recently given is destined to be one of the best pieces of advice I’ve received, “It often comes down to faith vs fear. Faith in yourself and your abilities, or fear that things may not work out exactly as you expect”.  Fear of the unexpected will often keep us small and stop us from living our most authentic lives.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

Oh, so many things! I come from a family of musicians, my parents were opera chorus singers who had a backstage romance, and I can play (to varying degrees of aptitude) the piano and the cello. I also spent some time singing professionally in a choir. I’m now teaching myself the ukelele.

What is the most interesting thing you have learned as part of the DSAN program?

I have learned just how important telling a powerful, compelling story can be in the practical application of data science.

How do you hope to influence the direction of the DSAN program?

I hope to continue to develop a sense of community within our program and to grow our program’s reputation as a competitive program and one of the first data science master’s programs in the U.S.!

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

Teleportation, because I love to travel but get anxious on planes. NOTE: One of our DSAN students has encouraged me to make sure that this superpower takes into account the rotation of the earth during teleportation to ensure I arrive in my desired location.

What 3 things would you want with you on a deserted island?

My cat, a satellite phone, and a Kindle loaded with my entire Goodreads list.