#ElonGrad 2020 Spotlight: Ashley Jutras, Human Service Studies

In this series, Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences is shining the spotlight on distinguished members of the Class of 2020 from a wide array of disciplines.

Ashley Jutras

A double-major in Human Service Studies and Public Health Studies, Jutras earned the Outstanding Senior Award from the Department of Human Service Studies for the Class of 2020.

What led you to major in Public Health Studies and Human Service Studies?

I knew I wanted to “help people” but didn’t know how to find a career that mirrored this interest. After my first semester at Elon, I was drawn to the Human Service Studies Department by the dedicated professors and colleagues. Being able to learn in the classroom and then apply that directly to work within the community through internships has led to numerous networking opportunities and immense personal growth.

What were your undergraduate research experiences at Elon?

My research within the Human Service Studies Department was focused on treating generalized anxiety amongst college students through mindful meditation. I also conducted research in the Public Health Department with Professor of Public Health Studies and Human Service Studies Cyndi Fair on perinatally-acquired HIV and its effects on parenting relationships.

What is your proudest accomplishment at Elon?

My proudest accomplishment was studying abroad in Amman, Jordan, for a semester. While this was an incredibly challenging semester, I was able to work in human services on an international level with a refugee aid organization as well as focus on becoming proficient in Arabic (my minor at Elon).

Who were your mentors and how did those relationships affect your Elon experience?

I have endless mentors at Elon. Truthfully, the entire Human Service Studies department has guided me over the past four years. Assistant Professor of Human Service Studies Carmen Monico, my academic advisor, pushed me outside of my comfort zone as I explored international HSS work. My other academic advisor, Cyndi Fair has worked with me in my HIV research and helped me tremendously in the job search process.

What are your future plans?

I am now a case manager at Triad Health Project in Greensboro working with people living with HIV. I hope to go back to school and get a dual Master of Public Health and Master of Social Work degree in the coming years.

What advice would you give future Elon students?

My advice to Elon students is to make the most of each moment, particularly with your professors. If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it is that time can be snatched away, but we will have our Elon community as support even during what feels like the most chaotic and disastrous of times. Building relationships with professors has been my favorite part of Elon, get started early!

What’s your favorite Elon tradition?

My favorite Elon tradition is College Coffee because it brings our entire community together (even if it’s just for half an hour). Plus, who doesn’t love coffee and snacks?!