Mount Monday Alumna Profile – Ashlynn Fields ’12
Ashlynn Fields ’12 is studying for her masters at USC and is working as a Graduate Assistant in the school’s Student-Athlete Academic Services department. Read about Ashlynn’s recent NCAA honor, as well as her goals for her career in athletics, her memories of the Mount, and her thoughts on “empowering young women.”
Ashlynn Fields, Mount St. Dominic Class of 2012, is currently a graduate student at the University of Southern California-Rossier School of Education, pursuing a masters degree in Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs, with a focus in Athletic Administration. At USC, Ashlynn works as a Graduate Assistant in the USC Athletics’ Student-Athlete Academic Services department. In this role, she meets with 15 student-athletes on a weekly basis to regulate grades by creating academic plans and providing resources for improved academic and personal achievement. Before attending USC, Ashlynn attended Boston College, earning her BA in 2016 in Applied Psychology and Human Development, as well as Communication. As an undergrad, Ashlynn was a Division I student-athlete on the Boston College Cross-Country and Track & Field team, serving as captain during her senior year.
This past January, Ashlynn had the privilege of representing USC’s athletic department as one of just 227 individuals chosen to attend the Emerging Leaders Seminar (ELS) at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) headquarters. Ashlynn noted, “Attending ELS was an experience of a lifetime that opened my eyes to various career opportunities within collegiate athletics that go beyond solely working on an institutional level. I was able to hear from speakers from all over the country who work in different settings within college athletics whether it be at universities, conference offices, affiliate organizations, and of course the NCAA national office as well. The experience at ELS was all about learning how to build a personal brand, professional development and networking, an experience that enabled me to connect with some incredible ELS participants that will be valuable resources and colleagues in the future.” Her career goal post-graduation is to work within student-athlete development. She wishes to improve the personal and professional development of young student-athletes so that they are more than prepared to be successful for life after athletics.
Proudest moments, competing and comradery
When thinking about where she is today and what she looks forward to, Ashlynn notes that the Mount has impacted her in an abundance of ways but one in particular that stands out is her experience in athletics. When she looks back on her athletic career as a whole, she shares, “Some of my proudest moments were competing for MSDA’s Cross-Country and Track & Field team.” The true comradery that she had with teammates, competing for state titles, and learning how to love the sport of running through all the ups and downs is something that she will always remember. Ashlynn feels she would have never been the runner that she turned out to be had it not been for her former MSDA Head Track & Field Coach, Asim Kohli. She notes that Coach Kohli’s dedication, leadership and true belief in her and her teammates allowed her to develop confidence within herself, on and off the track. “Running at the Mount taught me so much about who I am as a person and helped transform me into the leader that I am today.”
While she loves L.A., one of the things Ashlynn misses the most about her days in high school are the friendships that she built. She still has close bonds with a few girls who have really become more like sisters, and even after going in completely different directions post-graduation, they still remain close. Each time she is back in New Jersey, they always find time to connect with each other.
During her days at the Mount, Ashlynn played varsity soccer her freshman year and ran cross-country/track & field the following three years. Additionally, she was in the Peanut Butter & Jelly Club, and was a Peer Leader her senior year. When asked to offer some advice to current Mount students, Ashlynn said:
“Be unapologetically you and trust the process. I think often times, people can become so accustomed to playing the comparison game and worrying about what everyone else is doing, instead of realizing that what’s most important is who you are as an individual. Hone into the gifts and talents that make you who you are. Go at your own pace and believe in yourself, and know that with the right work ethic and mindset you can accomplish anything.”
Spirituality, service, and leadership define the Mount experience
When asked to pick three words to describe the Mount, Ashlynn chose Spirituality, Service, and Leadership.
- Spirituality – Going to the Mount provided her with the best foundation of understanding what spirituality and faith meant. She always looked forward to going on retreats and further developing her relationship with God. Further development of her faith increased as she went on to gain a Jesuit Catholic education at Boston College.
- Service – To this day, Ashlynn notes she still talks about her experience of going on the Lowernine service trip to New Orleans in 2010 to help rebuild after Hurricane Katrina. Having the opportunity to step out of her comfort zone and travel to an unfamiliar place opened her eyes to an entirely different perspective on how she viewed the world. She recalls that each night the group would come together to journal and reflect upon the experience. Being able to make a direct impact on someone else’s life was truly rewarding and it is the reason why she values service today. That trip was by far one of the most impactful experiences that she has had in her life as it allowed her to truly understand what it meant to be a servant for others and taught the importance of reflection.
- Leadership – MSDA taught Ashlynn what it means to be a leader. She feels as though there is tangible energy at the Mount where everyone is constantly wanting to get involved whether it be through sports, clubs, or academics. Had she not been encouraged by teachers or administrators to improve upon who she was as a person and try new things, she feels she would have never sought out opportunities like becoming a Peer Leader.
One of the best things at the Mount – her voice was heard
One of the best things about the Mount, according to Ashlynn, is its environment. The small class size made her feel comfortable participating and she knew that her voice was always being heard. She never felt like she had to pretend to be someone that she wasn’t. Not having to get dressed up every day and always feeling like she could be herself made life so much easier. She loved arriving to school early and buying a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich while hanging out with friends in the cafeteria. She also enjoyed regrouping with peers in homeroom and always having the best food. Being able to know almost everyone at the Mount made it easier for her to break out of her shell as a freshman and become an outgoing and confident individual by her senior year.
A few fun facts: Ashlynn describes herself as an extroverted introvert! She loves spending time with friends and exploring LA, but also loves to take time to herself, listening to music or reading. The last book she read was Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty and the best movie she has seen in the past year is Black Panther. Ashlynn’s favorite place to be is Boston and she shares a favorite quote:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.”
– Marianne Williamson
A strong, confident, and proud woman whose goal is to help cultivate young women leaders
On what the school’s motto – “Empowering Young Women” – means to her, Ashlynn feels it means being a strong, confident, and proud woman who is not afraid to go against the status quo, determined to reach her dreams despite whatever obstacles may get in the way. Ashlynn is fortunate to have some exceptional female mentors in her life who have encouraged her over the years and helped her to get to where she is today. As she continues to build a career in collegiate athletics, it is her goal to help cultivate young women, especially women of color, into becoming leaders in an industry that has historically lacked minority and female representation.