Ashley Anderson '16

B.S., Fire Science & Criminal Justice

If you want to learn, they will work hard to help you reach your goals.

Learning In Real Time

Ashley Anderson grew up in Central Massachusetts and knew about Anna Maria’s strong reputation for its service programs. She had visited other, larger, schools but felt uncomfortable with the size. When she came to Anna Maria, Ashley felt right at home with the smaller campus, intimate class sizes and close relationships with professors. She especially liked how easy it was to get to know all the different types of people that make up the campus community.

“I grew up in a town where everyone looks like me, talks like me, acts like me. This campus gave me the opportunity to experience the diversity that is really out there in this world.”

Unlike most people who come to Anna Maria for Fire Science, Ashley has no desire to be a full-time firefighter for the rest of her life. She has her sights set on leadership and took on a criminal justice double major to broaden her knowledge base. She also got the chance to make new connections in her field by volunteering to help run the Fire Chiefs’ Association of Massachusetts (FCAM) Professional Development Conference, an opportunity that came through Anna Maria connections.

Through her classes and internships, Ashley has discovered new areas of interest and opportunities for real-world learning within her field, and she is excited to be able to explore them on a deeper level. Putting her classes to use as a volunteer firefighter and EMT for the West Brookfield Fire Department has helped Ashley work toward developing a better relationship between the fire, police and other emergency management groups in the area. With the help of one of her professors, she also landed a summer internship in structural firefighting at Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky, where some of her responsibilities will include conducting and implementing fire prevention inspections. Ashley will also have her nationally registered EMT license from Anna Maria and will be able to work in EMS response as well.

“Attending Anna Maria is especially rewarding because the small campus size allows for a lot of opportunities. Your professors are working directly in the field and can set you up for a career right out of college. And they are always there for you.”