Greensburg resident hopes to return from Institute with the foundation for a program to introduce arts programming into underprivileged areas

Seton Hill student Ashley McKoy of Greensburg, Pennsylvania is one of only 51 college students from 20 states selected to participate in the Kellogg Collegiate Women of Color Leadership Institute sponsored by the Foundation for Independent Higher Education. The year-long program aims to identify campus leaders among women of color enrolled who will be seniors at independent colleges across the nation and provide a learning experience to help prepare them for future leadership roles.

From August 10 – 13 McKoy will participate in a rigorous leadership development program at the Mt. Washington Conference Center in Baltimore. During the program, she will have the opportunity to attend lectures from a variety of speakers addressing topics related to leadership, and will spend a day touring the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters and talking with women leaders there. McKoy will also be assigned a mentor – a woman executive in a corporation, nonprofit organization or government position – who will meet with her during the program and will be in contact with McKoy throughout her senior year to provide guidance and support.

Participants in the Leadership Institute are also expected to undertake a leadership project on their home campus or in the neighboring community during their senior year. A stipend of $2,500 is provided to each participant to help in funding this project. McKoy will develop her leadership project at the institute, but hopes to be able to create a program to help young people in underprivileged areas to develop an understanding of the arts.

“I’d like to create a program called ‘YOUMA,’ which stands for ‘young ones understanding music and the arts,’” says McKoy, a music performance and music education major at Seton Hill. “My hope is that I could reintroduce some sort of arts programming in schools or community centers, especially in areas where funding for the arts has been cut. In fact, my hope would be that I could develop this idea into a nonprofit organization that would fill this need going forward.”

McKoy was chosen for the Leadership Institute on the basis of her academic record, leadership achievements, letters of recommendation and an essay.

“An excellent student, Ashley’s first priority is her studies, but she has been able to balance a very busy academic schedule with many interests and activities,” says Sr. Lois Sculco, vice president for administration and student life at Seton Hill, who nominated McKoy for this honor. “In her freshman year, Ashley was the president of the College Chapter of the NAACP, and under her very capable leadership, this group of students was very active both on campus and in the local community. In the last two years, Ashley has shown an interest in the activities of the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education and has participated in the annual Kristallnacht Memorial Service. On May 23, she traveled with a group of university students to participate in the March of Remembrance and Hope in Poland, during which students visited Holocaust monuments, memorials, and the remains of former death camps.” “Ashley is hardworking, responsible, and very capable in managing her time and responding to a variety of tasks with professionalism and cheerfulness,” Sr. Sculco added. “I am confident that she will return from the Leadership Institute with enhanced skills and will implement her learning here at Seton Hill in a significant way.”

The Foundation for Independent Higher Education is the national partner in a network of state and regional associations that develop resources for private colleges and universities throughout the nation. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Michigan is the major donor for the Leadership Institute.



Becca Baker, Associate Director of Media Relations (cell)