Ashley Hayden was born and raised in Friendswood, Texas, a suburb just outside of Houston. Growing up, Ashley had a passion for helping others, which led her to pursue a premedical degree from Texas A&M University. However, come college, she was surprised by how much she loved her basic science classes. Through a tutoring program, she also discovered her incredible passion for teaching and mentoring others. As a result, she decided to pursue a career of academic research. Ashley wanted to become a professor where she could not only teach the next generation, but also be on the cutting edge of science and potentially help others with her discoveries.
Ashley began her research journey in 2017, where she studied the genetic mechanisms behind monarch butterfly migration. She also performed research on newly discovered bacteriophages as potential therapeutics for bacterial-resistant infections. Ashley graduated in May 2019 from Texas A&M with a B.S. in honors biology. She solidified her love for research and decided to pursue a Ph.D. in Neuroscience.
In her free time, Ashley enjoys walking and hiking, taking Zumba classes, reading true crime novels, and painting. Ashley also loves to travel, and hopes to have more opportunities to do so over the next several years. As a first-generation college student, Ashley understands just how critical support is for student success, and is grateful to the BRASS organization for their unwavering resolve to help students like her succeed.