Ashley Wells: Assistant Dean for Community Engagement & Impact

Ashley Wells, Assistant Dean for Community Engagement & Impact

Ashley Wells is the Assistant Dean for Community Engagement in the College of Health and Human Services at UNCW.

A Georgia native, Wells attended the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga., where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, as well as Master of Public Health with a focus in Health Promotion and Behavior. 

As a member of the CHHS leadership team, Wells works to grow and sustain academic and community partnerships that are mutually beneficial, with an aim to improve the health and quality of life of all stakeholders in Southeastern North Carolina. She began working with the community on public health projects in the areas of bullying prevention and HIV/AIDS as a graduate student at the University of Georgia. Following graduation, Wells began her career in academic administration with the University of Georgia, where she oversaw the Master of Public Health Program and the newly created Doctor of Public Health Programs. In these roles, she was responsible for overseeing the life cycle of graduate students from recruitment through graduation; representing the programs on external councils and service projects; and working with faculty on curriculum planning, community partners/students on internship placements and with faculty and community partners to gain accreditation.  

Wells transitioned into the areas of public health training and leadership development when she became center coordinator for the Georgia Public Health Training Center, a program funded by the U.S. Human Resources and Services Administration. In this role, she worked with various partners and stakeholders to deliver training and professional development to the state’s public health workforce. Most recently, Wells served as project coordinator for the Protecting Strong African American Families Project, a preventive-intervention research trial funded by the National Institutes of Health and conducted through the Center for Family Research at UGA. In this role, Wells worked with faculty, staff and families residing in rural Georgia to examine the impact of stress on couple and family relationships. 

Wells is in the final stages of obtaining her doctoral degree in adult learning, leadership and organizational development at the University of Georgia. She is interested in leadership development, adult learning and adult development, with special attention to best practices for providing effective and impactful continuing education and professional development programming. She looks forward to lending her skills and interests to the development of these type of initiatives for the College of Health and Human Services.