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Graduate Student


A native of Belfry, Kentucky, Ashley M. Browning (she/her) is currently residing in the Fountain City neighborhood of Knoxville with her spouse, Tyler Steed McClure and their feline fur babies, Blue Ivy and Frances Beans. She completed an undergraduate thesis titled "An Empirical Analysis of the Effectiveness of Strain Theory: An Explanation of Delinquency Among Incarcerated Youth" and a graduate thesis titled "Community Perceptions of Prescription Drug Abuse in Eastern Kentucky." Ashley is deeply passionate about social justice and finds creative ways to show up for her community. As a full-time employee of the University, Ashley does not receive funding or serve in an academic or research position for the Department of Sociology. She is studying in the Critical Race & Ethnic Studies concentration and will earn a graduate certificate in Cultural Studies in Education as her secondary area. Her current research is focused on post-secondary classroom interactions and how “vulnerability reads” shape the higher ed student experience.

Ashley serves the campus community as Graduate Student Senate representative for the Sociology department and chairs the Equity and Diversity Committee. She is also a member of the Chancellor’s Commission for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI), Chancellor’s Commission for Women (CFW), Inclusive Teaching Taskforce, Assessment Steering Committee, and Accommodation & Accessibility Committee at UT Knoxville. Ashley serves the broader community through First Aid Collective Knoxville, Black Mamas Bailout, and as the Secretary of the Board of Directors for Appalachian Community Fund. When she is not serving others, Ashley relaxes with cross-stitch and binge-rewatching Parks & Rec for the millionth time.

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