Ashley Turner, Academic Technologist at Swarthmore College

“Who Is That?” Series: Introducing Ashley Turner

The “Who Is That?” series gives you insight into who we are here in the ITS department with a series of traditional and non-traditional interview questions.

Wrapping up: From our last post with Corrine Schoeb, Technology Accessibility Coordinator, she lied to us about the likelihood that you, the reader, suffers from a disability.  Today, we chat with Ashley Turner (AT), Academic Technologist.

Interviewer [I]: Thanks for joining us, Ashley!  Did you pick this job because it matches your initials?

AT: Not exactly…but it’s a big plus.

I: Kind of like Switzerland’s flag?

AT: 🙄

I: You had another position at Swarthmore before this — what was it?

AT: I was still in ITS, but worked as a Media Services Specialist.

I: In which ways do your past experiences in Media Services influence your work as an Academic Technologist?

AT: As a Media Services Specialist I got to go inside the classrooms and see firsthand what some of the pain points were for faculty. I got to know a lot of the faculty and students that way.  The relationships I built in my previous role certainly influence my current role tremendously because I know how some of the faculty operate their classrooms and what their needs are.

I: Would you please describe your Academic Technology job and your Media Services job in two separate haiku?

AT: Moodle all the time

Helping learners learn better

Blended learning helps

I: Well done on the haiku portion of that question!  The Writing Center would be proud!  However, might we suggest brushing up with the Math & Stat Academic Support folks?  Seems that counting to two haiku might have been an unintentionally difficult question.

I: What do you think has changed the most about the way ITS in higher education works in the past five years?

AT: I think technology changes quicker than it did even five years ago and because of that its  adoption rate is much quicker too. The use of technology affords us so many conveniences, it’s hard not to want to use the latest app, tool, or technology that will help shave five minutes from your workflow or help organize your work more efficiently.

I: Please tell us two truths and a lie (in any order)!


  1. I used to be an actress
  2. I once was offered a record deal
  3. I was named after a character on a soap opera

I: What are your work goals for 2019?

AT: My goals for 2019 are to provide quality faculty development opportunities that enhance teaching, learning, and research objectives of faculty on campus. Offering workshops on blended learning and active learning techniques allow for exploration of new methods of doing things. It is my goal to create learning communities around such methods so that faculty can learn and grow from each other.

I: What bigger-picture issues are you most involved with here at Swarthmore?

AT: I am involved in our interactive teaching for flexible learning spaces initiative. Providing flexible spaces that better support interactive group activity is important for student success. It’s my goal to figure out ways in how we can better support faculty in this endeavor.

I: Is there anything you’d like to share about yourself that we wouldn’t know to ask?

AT: I am a career changer. Before coming to Swarthmore almost six years ago I was an audio engineer for a local theatre company.  I decided to switch careers and get into higher education technology and I’ve loved it ever since! Because of my experience, I’m a huge advocate for getting more women into the technology field.  And I often volunteer for organizations that promote the advancement of girls and women in STEM.

Meet more of our team — check out all of our other “Who Is That?” posts.