Ashley Simmons is a third year Ph.D. student at the University of Kansas, where she is coordinating the organization of HBW’s archive. She graduated from Howard University with her bachelor's and Bowie State University (where she was awarded the BSU Graduate Scholar Award for her research) with a master's in English. Most of her research before coming to KU has focused on black science fiction and the expansion of Foucault’s concept of heterotopia, using this concept as a lens for discussing queer futurity. Through her time in the BBIP Scholars program, Ashley has expanded her research to include defining black transgressive fiction. In addition to her studies, Ashley has a background in media education and civic engagement in the after-school setting. Students she has worked with received awards for their documentary on the intersection of police brutality with a national lack of resources dedicated to student engagement during and after school. Ashley hopes to continue her passion for media production and education while pursuing her Ph.D. at KU.
—U.S. News & World Report