University of Southern California

USC Student Affairs and Campus Life

Ashley Knight: Aspiring Pharmacist Seeks to Serve

By L. Alexis Young

Ashley Knight       Photo by Lillian InsalataAshley Knight Photo by Lillian Insalata

Though Ashley Knight was initially attracted to USC for its location and the Southern California weather, learning more about pre-health programs at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences ultimately convinced her to join the Trojan Family.

An aspiring pharmacist and member of the incoming Class of 2013, Knight will major in biological sciences with an emphasis in pre-pharmacy at USC Dornsife.

“USC has a really nice pharmacy program that I’m hoping to get into,” said Knight, who was raised in Overland Park, Kansas. “I started hearing about the Trojan Family and the alumni network and was sold after visiting and hearing all about it.”

Though she grew up with plans to become a doctor, her queasiness at the sight of blood prompted her to explore other avenues in medicine.

“A few years ago my dad said ‘well, if you don’t like blood, why don’t you become a pharmacist?’ It sounded good and I started thinking about what I’m passionate about,” she said. “I want to develop medicinal solutions for diseases that affect people in the lower socioeconomic level. Pharmacy is the route that will take me there.”

Knight plans to get involved with activities in addition to academics at USC. She’s looking into greek life, a number of clubs and organizations including intramural sports and a cappella groups, and opportunities in the Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs (CBCSA).

During high school, she participated on her school’s basketball, track and volleyball teams for four years, sang in the school choir, served on student council, and took part in the Jaguar Pride Coalition, the school’s leadership and spirit group. She also served as vice president and president of the Diversity Leadership Council, a program she founded during her freshman year.

Outside of school, Knight regularly volunteered at a homeless shelter organizing food donations and assembling food packages, and in underserved communities working with preschoolers.

A middle child with a seven-year-old sister and an older sister away at college, Knight says she doesn’t have any apprehensions about leaving home.

“I’m really ready to move to be honest. I’m sure I’ll be homesick — I don’t doubt that — but I’ve always wanted to come to California. That was always my plan. I’m ready for something new. I love the campus, I love the people and I’m ready to go.”