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Ashley Perez

Degree: Professional Science Master in Environmental Policy and Management

College/School: School of Environment, Arts and Society, College of Arts, Sciences & Education

When the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill dumped millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, Ashley Perez saw the disaster as an opportunity to better communicate science to the public and effect positive change.

Raised in Liberty City, Ashley attended Miami Northwestern Senior High School. She learned about FIU through the Education Effect, a university-school-community partnership to improve educational outcomes in Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Trading in military aspirations for academia, she enrolled at FIU and participated in the Golden Scholars bridge program offering academic preparation and advising to first-generation students. Ashley earned a bachelor’s degree in communication arts in 2016.

Ashley began working as a Palm Beach County park ranger. She enrolled in FIU’s Professional Science Master in Environmental Policy and Management program to build a foundation in environmental and conservation science. While working and studying, she was an intern with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and developed an outline for cypress swamp restoration. She also volunteered at the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary rehabilitating sick and injured wild animals. She is the first in her family to graduate with bachelor’s and master’s degrees. 

Ashley wants to build a career in the public sector, enforcing environmental regulations and developing education and outreach programs. She believes inspiring small, individual actions add up and make a big difference in addressing pressing environmental issues.

By Evelyn Gonzalez
Account Manager, College of Arts, Sciences & Education