Ashley Cooper

Ashley CooperAshley Cooper jointly concentrated in Neuroscience and Social Anthropology, with a Secondary in History of Science, a citation in Mind, Brain, and Behavior, and a language citation in French. Hailing from Cherry Hill, New Jersey, she lived in Quincy House while at Harvard. A Mellon Mays Fellow and John Harvard Scholar, Ashley aims to increase equity in mental health care dispersal, and especially to foster increased accessibility to mental healthcare for the Black community. Her interdisciplinary honors thesis entitled "Racism's Health Harm on Black Youth Mental Health: From (Neuro)Scientific Orthodoxy to Neuroscience as a Vessel of Visibility,” was the first-ever analysis of how perceived discrimination impacts the functional network connectivity of Black youth. For this work, she received the Thomas Temple Hoopes Prize for outstanding undergraduate research, as well as the Anthropology Department’s Clyde Kluckhohn Prize. Ashley contributed extensively to the artistic, STEM, and public service communities while at Harvard. Fostering increased inclusivity within the Harvard STEM community, Ashley served as Co-Director of Science Club for Girls: Harvard Chapter, Co-President of the Harvard Medical Humanities Forum, and Co-President of the Harvard Global Health Institute's Student Advisory Committee. Committed to Public Service, Ashley additionally served as the President of the Foundation for the International Medical Relief of Children from 2017-2019, for which she received consecutive Best Advocacy awards during her tenure. Further, as Co-Director of Indigo Peer Counseling, Ashley led a counseling staff of 25 focalized on serving the mental health needs of communities of color. Deeply invested in artistic endeavors, Ashley performed in a multitude of theatrical productions, directed the Black Playwrights Festival, served as Co-President of Harvard College Musical Theater, and sang in the Harvard-Radcliffe Veritones A Cappella, Keychange A Cappella, and the Kuumba Singers of Harvard College during her time on campus. Outside of Harvard, Ashley has performed on NBC’s The Today Show, Kelly Clarkson’s I Dare You Virtual A Capella Choir, Lifetime (TV Network), and at the Lincoln Financial Field, the Kimmel Center, and Carnegie Hall. During her time as an undergraduate, Ashley was awarded the Harvard Foundation Insignia Award, the Julia Shaffner Memorial Prize, the Science Club for Girls Catalyst Award, Le Prix d’Excellence, and a Congressional Recognition from Senator Elizabeth Warren, in acknowledgment of her leadership and academic achievements. As the Lionel de Jersey Harvard Scholar at Emmanuel College, Ashley is pursuing an MPhil in Health, Medicine, and Society.