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APRIL 13, 2010 • ISSUE 76

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Sustainable Living Major Ashley Olivia Smith

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2009 EcoFair organizers

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Ashley (right) in the play Arcadia

Ashley Smith — From Theatre to Sustainable Agriculture

Ashley Olivia Smith is a Sustainable Living major at MUM who, after a lifelong fascination with theatre, turned her attention to sustainable agriculture. Ashley grew up in Kansas City doing theatre and studied costume design for three semesters. After the downturn of the economy, Ashley became interested in sustainability and quality food production.

“I became passionate about sustainable agriculture,” said Ashley. “I started researching sustainable programs and MUM popped up and I thought it was a dream, I didn’t even believe it. I was so enthralled about vegetarian and organic food. A school that focused on personal development and health.”

Ashley became involved with the University’s sustainability projects right away. She helped organize the EcoFair last spring and is doing it again this year. She is President of the Sustainable Council, a student group dedicated to creating a more sustainable campus. As president of the club, she is also a member of the Global Student Council, MUM’s student government.

In addition to food, Ashley is also passionate about building communities and bringing people together. After experiencing the benefits of the Transcendental Meditation® technique, she realized that in order to help others achieve their goals she needed to develop her full potential. “I decided to learn the TM-Sidhi program,” she said. “It was a phenomenal experience, words don’t give it justice.”

“I have had the privilege, honor, and responsibility of having Ashley in the only two courses I have ever taught in my life,” said Sustainable Living Professor Travis Cox. “She has played a significant role in solidifying my desire to be a teacher because of the earnestness with which she approaches the process of gaining knowledge, both from within and without.”

Ashley has not given up theater completely. She recently appeared in a local production of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia. It has been her dream since high school to be part of this play and with her experience she had no problem getting the part.

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