Alumni Spotlight: Ashley Rian Perry, C’05
April 11, 2012
After majoring in cultural and linguistic anthropology at Penn, Ashley Rian Perry, C’05, attended Georgetown University Law Center, earning a JD. After law school, she went into private practice at a mid-sized law firm in Atlanta, practicing real estate law for two and a half years. The day after attending her 5th year reunion in May 2011, Rian began working at another law firm in Atlanta, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP, where she is currently practicing real estate law. When she has free time, she enjoys traveling, reading, and trying new restaurants. This spring, she is headed back to Philly for Penn Relays. Having learned the truth about late April in Philadelphia, her umbrella, fleece and rain boots are packed!
Why did you choose Penn?
One sunny, warm, gorgeous spring weekend while I was in high school, my dad and I attended Penn Relays. I was a few weeks away from participating in the Georgia high school state championship track meet and was particularly enthralled with Penn Relays. That Saturday morning, I ate breakfast a few feet from world and Olympic champion sprinter Maurice Greene, and watched world and Olympic Champion sprinter Michael Johnson win his last race on American soil. All of Franklin Field was packed and the atmosphere was totally electric, as Penn's campus was overtaken by runners and students. From then on, I knew that Penn was the place for me.
What are some of your favorite memories from your time at the university?
I know that I got a top-notch education from Penn. I never had to look hard to find interesting classes or expert professors. Most of the memories I treasure from college come from the time I spent with peers outside of the classroom. We're older now, living all over the world, and often reminisce fondly about living within a two block radius of each other and stopping for midday coffee, or catching up over pizza and MTV's the Real World, procrastinating at the Penn Bookstore; and, of course, making late night runs to Wawa during midterms and final exams.
Tell us about your involvement with Penn Spectrum.
In the fall of 2009, I attended a "Reconnect with Penn" alumni event in my hometown of Atlanta. After the program, Nicole Maloy, Director of Multicultural Outreach at the University, solicited volunteers for a "weekend-long event dedicated to celebrating diverse alumni." Caught up in the moment and spirit of Penn, I offered my help. In my mind, I had volunteered to lick envelopes and encourage my friends to attend. Instead, I was assigned to chair the programming committee for what would become the first-ever conference on diversity and community. Since high school, I've been involved in student groups aimed at talking openly and honestly about race relations and encouraging diversity. In fact, my interest in race and culture led me to my cultural anthropology major at Penn. In retrospect, Penn Spectrum aligned perfectly with my interests and gave me the opportunity to work with like-minded people.
Are you involved with Penn in Atlanta? If so how?
I attend various events hosted by Penn in Atlanta as well as some events sponsored by the Penn Club of Atlanta. The success of Penn Spectrum prompted "Penn Spectrum on the Road," so when Penn Spectrum on the Road landed in Atlanta [view photos], I again helped out. My employer graciously hosted the event in our offices, I offered a few programming ideas to the talented staff in the Multicultural Relations office at Penn, and this time, I let them hammer out the details! In the past, I participated in interviewing local high school students applying to Penn and plan to continue to interview students in the future I look forward to staying involved with Penn, as it has been a very positive experience to date, and has prompted relationships with alumni I would not have otherwise had the opportunity to meet, both locally and nationally.
How would you encourage your classmates to reconnect with Penn?
The easiest way to reconnect with Penn is to make sure all the relevant Penn listservs have a current email address on file. You can make sure your profile is relevant by logging into QuakerNet at www.myquakernet.com. Many local Penn clubs offer information on Penn-related activities, like when professors are speaking in the area or identifying the only bar in Atlanta playing the Penn-Princeton basketball game, but a lot of other good information comes through the various listservs too, like networking opportunities, joint events with other schools' alumni clubs, job openings, etc. Penn alumni are an active bunch; if you find a few in your area, you're sure to also discover several ways to get involved with Penn.
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