I grew up in Oak Ridge, TN, a hometown that is still as strange to me as it sounds in the history books. Strange as it was to grow up in “The Secret City,” I enjoyed a phenomenal public school experience while pursuing my interests in the arts, humanities, running, and public speaking. Those interests combined with being surrounded by incredible natural beauty led me to study down the road a bit at Maryville College. I knew I had “made it” because there was a Target five minutes away, a luxury in my freshman mind. After receiving my B.A. in Design in 2015, I worked with the social activism website Care2 and spent a summer interning on an organic vegetable farm, eventually landing back at my favorite place and home: Maryville College.
Favorite Books: East of Eden by John Steinbeck, Until I Find You by John Irving
Favorite Movies: Moonlight, Psycho
Favorite Food: Yellow curry
Hobbies: Running, rock climbing, cooking
Why I love MC
I have early memories of Maryville College. When I was six years old, my mother worked on campus. I went on the ropes course in the college woods, attended homecoming festivities, and read in the floor of her offices in Sutton Science Center and Thaw Hall. At that time, we jokingly put “Ashlyn Kittrell, Class of 2015” on a name tag for the homecoming events. Little did we know that 11 years later, I would fulfill that prophecy.
One of the most important things that happened while I was young was the time my mom asked a faculty member how she should foster my love of drawing and art. He responded with vigor and encouraged her to always let that be a part of my life. I later ended up having the same professor during my time as an art student at Maryville College. To me, this illustrates one of the most important aspects of life on campus: everyone encourages you to be unapologetically yourself. The students and faculty all march to the beat of their own drum, but it makes for a beautiful cacophony. Maryville College allowed me to explore all facets of who I am and helped develop interests beyond what I knew before I came here.