Wells Named Associate School Director in School of Health and Applied Human Sciences

Thursday, April 14, 2022 - Dr. Ashley Wells, assistant dean for community engagement in the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) at UNCW, has accepted the position of associate school director for quality assurance in the School of Health and Applied Human Sciences (SHAHS).

Ashley WellsIn this newly created role, Wells will provide leadership within the SHAHS for programs and efforts related to diversity, equity and inclusion; accreditation; community engagement; assessment and program development; student recruitment and course quality; and teaching effectiveness. She will also hold the rank of associate professor of practice, teaching courses in her area of expertise, maintain a focused line of scholarly inquiry and publication, actively procure grants and engage in service activities appropriate to support the school and the college.

During Wells' five years of service as the assistant dean for community engagement, she grew community partnerships and engagement processes in CHHS and facilitated the continued development of the Center for Healthy Communities and the newly created Center for Workforce Development within the CHHS which have amassed over $1M in contracts and grant funding since 2018. She has also been the lead champion for Interprofessional Collaboration and the newly constructed clinic within Veterans Hall. Wells facilitated the following groups within CHHS: Interprofessional Collaboration Advisory Council; Community Engagement and Impact Advisory Council; the Interprofessional Teaching Clinic Task Force; and co-chaired the CHHS Racial Equity and Social Justice task force. At the university level, Wells led the Recognize and Reward Committee for the UNCW Office of Community Engagement; serves on the Office of Community Engagement Advisory Board; serves on the High Impact Practices Council; and led the qualitative data collection effort for UNCW's Innovation and Economic Prosperity application.  

Wells serves on the boards of Cape Fear HealthNet, Leading Into New Communities (LINC), Inc., and the Child Development Center.  She has represented CHHS on the executive committee for the American Heart Association’s Cape Fear Heart Walk and served as a member of the New Hanover County Master Aging Plan Executive Committee. She previously served as a member of the Brunswick County Nursing Home and Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee. 

Prior to coming to UNCW, Wells coordinated projects such as the Protecting Strong African American Families Project (ProSAAF) funded by the National Institutes of Health and conducted through the Center for Family Research at the University of Georgia and the Georgia Public Health Training Center, funded by the U.S. Human Resources and Services Administration and conducted through the UGA College of Public Health. Previous administrative roles held by Wells include coordinator of the Master of Public Health and Doctor of Public Health Programs and member of the CEPH accreditation work group at UGA.

Wells is a three-time graduate of the University of Georgia, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Master of Public Health with a focus in health promotion and behavior, and Doctor of Philosophy in Adult Learning, Leadership and Organization Development.