Whether it’s being Clemson University’s first African American female student body president or working as an audiologist after she completes her schooling, Ashley McCollum wants to make change for the better.

A senior biological sciences major, McCollum has served on Clemson University Student Government since her first year on campus as a member of Freshman Council. Her favorite experience with CUSG has been serving as the assistant director of Tiger Prowl, Clemson’s student organization fair.

“It’s been awesome to come in contact with different communities, clubs and organizations that people are passionate about and getting to know the specific organizations on campus,” McCollum said.

With her running mate, Clark Reboul, McCollum ran for student body president in spring 2023 and won.

McCollum aims to make people feel heard and supported through intentional conversation. During her term, she has focused on increasing student engagement and unifying students as a Clemson Family. She believes greater communication among the general student body is a key to better involvement.

McCollum credits her decision to attend Clemson, in part, to the COSMIC (College of Science Mentoring and Inclusion Collaborative) program and its director, Sharetta Bufford. COSMIC matches incoming students with student mentors from similar backgrounds and interests. 

McCollum chose to study biological sciences and minor in American Sign Language to become an audiologist. She wants to improve people’s lives through hearing technology and guide them through challenges by providing empathy, resources and support. 

McCollum said that her academics and time in student government have helped her practice empathy and develop leadership skills, preparing her for her next steps. 

“Being well versed in different pathways, being empathetic and having the opportunity to represent people from unique backgrounds will help me within the field of audiology and become a better person because of it,” she said.

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