This year, Ursuline welcomed Ashley Rae Jackson as the Director of Admission and Enrollment Management. While at the University of Nevada, Reno, on a full academic and athletic scholarship, Jackson earned a degree in journalism and communications, and continued on to get a master’s degree in communication management at University of Southern California (USC).
Jackson comes to us from a previous position as Middle School Director of Admission for Milken Community Schools in Los Angeles. Before working in this role, she served as Senior Assistant Director of Admission at USC, where she worked specifically with underrepresented groups as they navigated their college search.
In her new position at Ursuline, she is also directing the Ambassadors program, along with Spanish teacher Ms. Ayala. The two have been a great team navigating their first year with the program.
“Ms. Jackson has completely changed the ambassador program for the better. She has incorporated snacks and cookies in our meetings to make the program seem more welcoming. Her passion for this program shows her dedication towards her job. She is the best,” says Emily Ray ’20, Officer of Communications for Ambassadors.
What inspires you in your work in admissions?
Admissions is about fit, process, and mission. At Ursuline, we have a rich history of service, we have undeniably faithful faculty and staff, and we have a community of students, alums, and supporters that believe fervently in our mission. I am inspired by each of these daily. Building our community is a responsibility yes, but it’s also a great privilege.
What is the best part of your role as the Director of Admissions?
I truly love my role as Director of Admissions. It’s even more special that I get to serve the Ursuline community. My varied responsibilities make each day fun and rewarding. The best part of the role hands down, however, is working with our girls. They are such gems! Watching them transition to high school, grow in their commitment to God and service to others, and truly find themselves is fascinating. I’m inspired by them daily.
What are you most looking forward to in the spring semester?
Spring semester will bring many unique Ursuline traditions. I look forward to Mardi Gras—any time we can pour into students, is great. It’s a wonderful cause at that. Each year we continue to raise funds for tuition assistance. That’s huge. Also, I cannot wait for graduation! (Although, I’ll be sad to say farewell to my senior advisees). It will be such a memorable, momentous occasion. Lastly, I am most looking forward to March/April when admission decisions are distributed, and we begin to welcome new families to the Ursuline community. How exciting!
Do you miss anything about Los Angeles?
Of course! My last decade in Los Angeles was quite fruitful. While I miss former colleagues, professors, and friends, I miss the weather and the beach the most! There’s nothing like consistently sunny weather.
What service opportunities are you passionate about, and how does a service mindset impact your work?
In my personal life, I am most passionate about education—access, resources, and opportunities for all children. Equity and inclusion are key factors in this equation. And really, so is love and understanding. Let’s face it, we could all use a little more love and kindness these days.
I spend my time mentoring high school/college students and volunteering at elementary schools. Breast cancer awareness is another cause important to me. My mother is a breast cancer survivor, so raising money for research and supporting those impacted by the disease is important to me.
How does having a service mindset impact my work? Easy. I am—we are, called to serve others. If helping others and sharing God’s word is in your heart, work is less “work”. Rather, work is something that you simply love to do, something that you get to do. I’d like to believe that I have a servant’s heart. As such, if I can help prospective students and parents in this, sometimes anxious admissions process, I consider it a joy.