Student Spotlight January 2020

    Ashanti Peppers



    Ashanti Peppers attended the University of Louisville to pursue an Undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Fall 2013- Spring 2017. Throughout this time Ashanti served as an undergraduate research assistant in both the psychology and chemistry department. In 2018 Ashanti was accepted to the University of Louisville's Master of Special Education program with a concentration in autism and applied behavior analysis. Ashanti is in her final semester of her Master’s Program and has an anticipated graduation date of May 2020.







    1. What brought you to the University of Louisville?

    What originally brought me to the University of Louisville to pursue my undergraduate degree was the research component of the University and of course location. What kept me at the University of Louisville was the sense of family and meaningful relationships I created as an undergraduate student that has continued on as a graduate student.

    2. How would you describe your area of study/ specific research to your a friend/family member unfamiliar with your field?

    Applied Behavior Analysis is the scientific approach to behavior in which we give individuals the tools they need to improve and teach new behaviors that are socially significant in order to promote independence and overall quality of life for the individual.

    3. What made you go into this field of study?

    I chose to go into this field of study after working with this particular population of individuals diagnosed with autism and other developmental disabilities. I saw the necessity and effectiveness of the applied work of other behavior analysts and knew this was what I was meant to do.

    4. How do you think this advanced degree will change your role in society?

    I believe this advanced degree will change my role in society due to my being well equipped as a practitioner in the field of ABA. Thanks to Dr. Dubuque and my supervisors throughout my time in the program not only am I better able to advocate for the individuals I currently serve and will serve in my future. I also am able to effectively implement behavior change and teach skills that will benefit their overall quality of life.

    5. What accomplishment, academic or otherwise, are you most proud of?

    I am most proud of the work I do with the individuals I work with on a daily basis. Serving this population of individuals is what makes it all worth it.

    6. What has been your favorite part of the graduate school experience at UofL?

    My favorite part of my graduate experience with UofL would be the support of my cohort and other practitioners in the community. The relationships that I have been able to foster throughout my time in this program has been phenomenal and I am truly thankful for that.

    7. What do you feel is the greatest challenge that graduate students face and how have you dealt with this challenge?

    The greatest challenge I would say would be the work, school, and personal life balance. What has worked best for me is putting everything in my planner and being more deliberate in how I allocate my time.

    8. Family life:

    My family is everything and my biggest support system. Being away from them while they reside in the Chicago land area is at times difficult, but I know they are rooting for my success.

    Quote from her Nominator, Dr. Erick Dubuque

    "Ashanti embodies the exact type of graduate student we want to see at the university. She is talented, compassionate, and committed to bettering the lives of everyone around her. It has been a pleasure personally and professionally to watch her become a strong behavior analytic scientist practitioner."

    Fun Facts
    A talent you have always wanted: Painting
    Favorite quote: 

    Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember you have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars, to change the world. –Harriet Tubman

    Role Model: My Parents
    Favorite Vacation Destination: Montego Bay, Jamaica
    If you weren’t in graduate school, what would you be doing now? Napping or training for a marathon