tion grant, UNC’s Alliances for Graduate
Education and the Professoriate recruits
undergraduates, supports their summer
research and connects them with mentors
in the sciences, engineering, mathematics
Ashby is working with other research
institutions across the country to help them
open their doors a little wider to minority
candidates. But she notes that “having
enough people at the door” is another
stumbling block. Selling minority students
on the value of a doctorate isn’t always
easy. “Everyone knows what it means to be
a lawyer or a doctor,” she says. “Everyone
gets that they make a lot of money and it’s
prestigious. Not everyone gets what it
means to be a professor.”
All these activities and achievements
aside, however, Ashby insists that one day
she will leave it all behind. Her mother
takes it one step further. “I keep telling her
that eventually the Lord is going to call her
to preach,” Shirley Sheares says.
“She really epitomizes goodness and
brings that to bear in all her interactions,”
says Joe DeSimone. Says another distinguished chemistry professor, faculty Chair
Joe Templeton, “I do not ever remember seeing her when it did not brighten my day.”
Daniel Verges, a first-year medical student at UNC who took Ashby’s organic
class as a sophomore, remembers the life
lessons she taught his class, the little sermons about gossiping and hard work and
looking out for those with less. He remembers, for example, the time she gave a box
of crayons to a student who had just scored
a 100 on one of her exams.
“Why am I giving him these crayons?”
she asked the class, pointing out that he
already had plenty of writing instruments.
She went on to make her point: That people who get things are not usually the ones
who need them.
Antoine Dove, the senior, remembers
how she supported and goaded and
inspired him to do well in her class. “The
kind of love and attention and care she
showed her students, you can’t even imagine,” he says. “She helped me achieve
something I didn’t think was achievable.”
Listen to all the stories and you think,
maybe she has already found her flock.
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it’s not th e cuis ine.
It’s the co mpanionship.
People toast our Eggs
Benedict. And tell us
our homemade desserts
suggest a 5-Star restaurant.
But at Croasdaile Village,
the story is not in the
appeal of our meals. The
real story is the residents
with whom you share the
For a visit and complimentary lunch, call Carol Roycroft at
(919) 384-2475 or email CarolR@umrh.org. You’ll come for
the tour but come back for the people.
2600 Croasdaile Farm Pkwy – Durham, NC 27705
(919) 384-2475 – www.croasdailevillage.com
DARV JOHNSON ’ 93 is a freelance writer
based in Chapel Hill.