Ashley Ell pursuing career as mechanical engineer
A native of Savage, Minnesota, and a 2006 graduate of Burnsville High School, Ashley Ell, 29, is earning two degrees at Inver Hills Community College, an Associate of Science (A.S.) in Engineering Fundamentals and an Associate of Arts (A.A.). Ashley is carrying 16 credits fall semester 2016 and is on track to graduate May 2017. She’s also a single mom raising a 6-year-old boy, Kellen, who has “massive amounts of energy.” Both endeavors are a full-time job.
Ashley chose engineering because she enjoys math and her father is an electrical engineer. She chose Inver Hills because the college’s campus is close to her home in Eagan.
“My plan is to transfer to the University of St. Thomas after I graduate from Inver,” Ashley said. “I want to earn my B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and go on to work in the field of robotic prosthetics.”
About Engineering Fundamentals at Inver
The Engineering department at Inver Hills stands out as a wise starting point if you are interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree in civil, electrical or mechanical engineering at the following universities:
- University of Minnesota
- University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD)
- Minnesota State University, Mankato: Mankato and Twin Cities Engineering programs
- St. Cloud State University
- University of St. Thomas
You can earn your A.S. in Engineering Fundamentals and then enroll at the university level as a junior. At Inver Hills, you will not only save money, but you will also get direct instruction from professional engineers while getting hands-on learning experience in an engaging, student-friendly setting.
Paying for college is seldom easy and Ashley found assistance through the Douglas Differt Difference Makers (D3M) Endowed Scholarship. She received a $1,500 award that helped her with tuition and books.
“Receiving the D3M Endowed Scholarship has given me more time to focus on my studies so I can get where I want to go,” Ashley said.
D3M at work
Gail Morrison, executive director of the Inver Hills Foundation, reported that the Douglas Differt Difference Makers (D3M) Endowed Scholarship provided its first four scholarships fall semester 2016.
“Each scholarship award was for $1,500,” Gail said. “Two went to Inver Hills Community College students and two went to students in the Civil Engineering Technology program at Dakota County Technical College. Once all pledges and matches are paid, the endowment will have nearly $550,000, which is enough to auto-fund ten scholarships, five for Inver and five for DCTC, in perpetuity.”
Gail also noted that the endowment featured its first intern, Charles Feng, an Inver Hills sophomore who worked at WSB & Associates in May 2016. A professional consulting and design firm headquartered in Minneapolis, WSB & Associates provides engineering, planning, environmental, and construction services to clients in the government, energy, and commercial markets.
“Our goal is to have five interns at each college by 2017,” Gail said. “We plan on doubling that number by 2010.”
To learn more about the D3M Endowed Scholarship, read “D3M: Bringing Vision and Goals Together” and “Douglas H. Differt Math Center” on Inver Hills News.
More about Ashley
What has been you toughest challenge in life?
“Raising my son, Kellen, and finding the right balance when teaching him about right and wrong. He is a very good boy and always trying to please me.”
What is your greatest accomplishment?
“Having a child.”
What person has influenced you the most in life?
“Katelyn, my sister-in-law. She’s always positive and focused on self-improvement—and that rubs off on me.”
Three words that describe you as a college student: DETERMINED. RESPECTFUL. HONEST.
Ashley Ell | 21 Answers
- Favorite season: Spring
- Favorite natural feature (e.g., waterfalls, oceans, mountains, etc.): Sequoia National Forest in California’s southern Sierra Nevada mountains
- Favorite sport or physical activity: Running
- Your national bird if you could have one: Cockatiel
- Place you would most like to visit: Venice, Italy
- Favorite holiday: Thanksgiving
- Your national mammal if you could have one: Spider monkey
- Favorite food: Chocolate
- Favorite tree: Weeping willow
- Your personal motto if you had to have one: “Support your community.”
- Coolest thing in the world: Glistening Waters Luminous Lagoon in Jamaica
- Scariest thing in the world: Spiders
- Favorite all-time TV show: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- Favorite all-time movie: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
- One thing you most want to accomplish in life: “Leave the world a better place than when I arrived.”
- Most precious material possession: N/A
- First thing you would buy if you won the $1.5 billion Powerball: Land everywhere
- Dream occupation: Engineer
- Person you would most like to meet: Jesus
- Skill you would most like to learn and master: Welding
- Humankind’s greatest challenge: World peace
To learn more about Engineering Fundamentals at Inver Hills, contact:
Joan Z. Carter, P.E.
To learn more about earning an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree at Inver, contact:
To learn more about the Douglas Differt Difference Makers (D3M) Endowed Scholarship, contact:
Executive Director of Foundation and Community Relations