Friday Feature with Colby's Ethan Ashley

Ethan Ashley, Colby

The NESCAC is brimming with talented student-athletes and the "Friday Feature" is a way for fans to get to know them throughout the academic year. The conference introduces Colby's Ethan Ashley, a men's rower who studied abroad in Lyon, France.

Ethan Ashley, Colby Ethan Ashley, Colby College
Senior, Men's Rowing
Philadelphia, Pa./William Penn Charter School
Majors: Philosophy and French Studies

Why did you choose to attend Colby?
I chose to attend Colby because of the perfect balance it offered between top-tier athletics and challenging academics. For me, Colby represents the ideal balance between these two and I am glad that I made this choice.

Why did you choose to be a Division III student-athlete?
Rowing is a unique sport in that there are no NCAA divisions (for men). I knew that I wanted a varsity program where I could help make an impact athletically while continuing to foster my academic and extracurricular interests. Choosing Colby provided me with that opportunity. I've learned so much about being a leader, a teammate, and an individual in my time at Colby and am forever grateful for the opportunity and for what I have learned.

What is the best thing about being part of the NESCAC?
The people you meet. I am surrounded on a daily basis by incredibly smart, talented, and gifted individuals who have truly impacted my life in so many ways.

What is your dream job/career? Why?
I hope to become a lawyer, working on cases pertaining to intellectual property, music, entertainment, and art.

What has been your favorite class outside of your major? Why?
My favorite class outside of my major was a literature course on Cormac McCarthy I took my sophomore year. I learned more about writing effectively and efficiently in that course than I had ever before. Equally, I am a huge Cormac McCarthy fan, so it was a great chance to read and write about his work.

Have you studied abroad during your collegiate experience? If so, where and what did you study there?
I studied abroad in Lyon, France during my junior year. As a French studies major, we are required to spend a semester abroad. My program in Lyon provided me with an amazing opportunity to advance my language skills and take interesting courses in my other major, philosophy (in French).

What internships/research projects have you participated in? What did you learn from these experiences?
I had the chance to intern at Claude Monet's gardens in Giverny, France between my sophomore and junior years. I also had the chance to intern last summer for the Center for Art Law in Brooklyn, a non-profit organization focused on providing research and pro-bono legal advice to artists and galleries. Both of these opportunities allowed me to pursue my interests in cultural heritage, the arts, and the law.

What has been the most interesting part of your major so far?
Getting to study abroad in Lyon was definitely the best part of my French major. My current philosophy thesis project has also been a super interesting experience for me as a senior.

What advice would you give to yourself as a high school first year?
Let things come to you organically. I have changed so much over my four years at Colby and I can honestly say that I would never have guessed back in high school that I'd be in the position I currently am now.

Who has been the most influential person on you during your time in college so far? Why?
The captains I have had as a member of Colby crew team have definitely left the greatest impact on me over my college experience. I still stay in touch with them and ask them questions to this day. They have had a tremendous role in my life and taught me a lot about what being an effective captain looks like.