On days that she’s not writing grants at the Lowell Milken Center in downtown Fort Scott, Ashley Cook makes the commute to Pittsburg State University to teach freshman composition and research writing in the English department there. She also attends her own classes, working toward a master’s degree in technical writing.
“Almost everything I do, everyday, involves writing in someway or another,” says Cook, “which is how I like it.”
Last month, Cook was honored by the graduate school and the English department with an excellence in teaching award. The award is given to exceptional graduate teaching assistants and is based on student evaluations and supervisor recommendations.
“To be recognized for my teaching was really special. I pour a lot of time and love into my teaching and it’s rewarding to know that something I’m doing is working,” says Cook. “You don’t always get that kind of reassurance.”
Although this is Cook’s first year of teaching, she’s been writing for a long time. Originally from Dayton, Ohio, she graduated from the University of South Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in English. After college, Cook worked in non-profit communications for three years and began an aggressive freelance career. Her work has been published in AAA’s Home and Away, South Carolina Magazine, as well as local magazines like She and Ageless. Her latest project, a textbook chapter on American Education in the 2000’s, was recently published by Gale Academic Press.
“That was a fun project,” says Cook, “it incorporated two things I’m passionate about—education and writing.
Cook’s passion for education and writing make her a perfect fit at the Lowell Milken Center: “The work we do at the Center is incredibly satisfying. And it has certainly maximized the possibilities I see when I walk into a classroom.”
For more information on Ashley Cook and the Lowell Milken Center, please visit the Lowell Milken Center Website.
March 18, 2021
The Los Angeles Times