Political Science Alumna is an Attorney for the Ohio Board of Regents Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Meet Ashleigh Henry
Job title: Staff Attorney
Employer: Ohio Board of Regents
Degrees earned: B.A. in Political Science, Point Park University, 2010, and J.D., concentration in children and family law, Capital University Law School, 2013
College activities: Honors Program, Student Life and Big Brothers, Big Sisters
Internships: Congressional intern for U.S. Representative Tim Murphy and intern for Pennsylvanians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty
Hometown: Berlin, Pa.
High school: Berlin Brothersvalley High School
Now living in: Columbus, Ohio
Hobbies/interests: Hiking, cooking, traveling, gardening and volunteering
LinkedIn: Ashleigh Henry
Why did you decide to become an attorney?
I have always loved reading, analyzing and writing so to me, a career that involves these three elements daily is very attractive. I think the most important reason I became an attorney is to be an advocate. I believe it is a way to breathe life into the reading, analyzing and writing I do because at the end of the day, there are people who need my work in order to succeed.
What factors made you choose Point Park to study political science?
I chose Point Park because it was immersed in Downtown Pittsburgh, but it wasn't as intimidating as other campuses. What also attracted me was that the professors had real-life experience in the subject matter, which was really important to me. I did not start out as a political science major, but as soon as I had both Bahman Homayoonfar and Nathan Firestone as professors, my future in political science was solidified. With the addition of Rep. Paul Costa as an adjunct professor at Point Park, my interest in government peaked. With these professors I learned not only the basic structures of government, but the practical day-to-day functions as well.
What role has your bachelor's degree played in your career success?
My bachelor's degree provided me a foundation not only in substantive knowledge of government processes, but also a greater knowledge of the world around me. Point Park provided a diverse student body and I enjoyed interacting with students from all walks of life. In my daily life, I need to be able to alter my communication styles and techniques based on an individual's reactions. I attribute my ability to do so to the skills I learned in course work and campus life at Point Park.
Tell us about the type of legal work you do.
For the Ohio Board of Regents, I analyze, review and draft contracts. The agency is appropriated more than $2.5 billion. I draft agreements with public universities, community colleges and technical centers to fund either daily operations or specific projects and review state investments with community partners for compliance.
I am also a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate for abused, neglected and dependent children in Franklin County, Ohio. In this role, I represent the best interest of children.
Additionally, I am a hearing officer for the teen court program in Franklin County, Ohio. This program is a diversion program for juvenile first offenders of misdemeanors and my role is to help students assign dispositions to their fellow offenders. I wrote my honors thesis at Point Park University on the juvenile justice system and knew programs like this were one of the most replicated in the country, so I am still really excited I get to take part in the program.
Who influenced you during your time at Point Park?
What a big question for such a small allotted space! I cannot even begin to explain who influenced and inspired me during my time at Point Park because the list could go on and on. From the friends I made who are off doing amazing, wonderful things to the professors who pushed us to do these amazing, wonderful things, I cannot imagine a better experience. I would, of course, regret if I did not mention two of the most influential people at Point Park, Professors P.K. Weston and Helen Fallon.
What are your career goals?
My career goals are relatively simple - I want to continue to serve others whether it be in a government or a nonprofit capacity.