Junior dreams of the FBI, trains for a marathon, encourages involvement
Culture | Cherie Suonvieri
President Ashley Ancona serve as liaisons between the students and faculty and oversees all of Bethel Student Association (BSA).
She’s currently training for the Twin Cities Marathon, her dream job is to work as an FBI agent, and she enjoys strawberry banana smoothies with whey protein from Royal Grounds. She is Ashley Ancona, Bethel’s student body president.
Serving as Bethel’s student body president wasn’t always Ancona’s plan. She always thought it would be interesting to hold a leadership role in a Christian community like Bethel, but never did she think she would do it her junior year, especially after transferring to Bethel only a year earlier.
“It was just a door that opened that I felt God wanted me to take,” she said.
Entering her second year at Bethel, Ancona is a computer science and business entrepreneurship double major. She transferred from Indiana Wesleyan University in the fall of 2012, soon finding that she loved the Bethel community. She became involved by joining Bethel Student Association (BSA) as a student senator, and the following spring she ran for student body president with junior Jacky Arness. The campaign was a success.
As student body president, Ancona’s two main responsibilities are overseeing all of BSA with the help of Vice President Arness and serving as a liaison between students and faculty.
“One of my largest goals is to make the students and all of Bethel aware of what BSA is… We want to build bridges this year,” Ancona explained.
Looking forward, Ancona is excited for the opportunity to grow as a Christian leader, which for her also means building up others.
“I believe a leader’s role isn’t just to boss people around but to develop others as leaders,” she said.
Arness feels both blessed and privileged to work alongside Ancona, and has witnessed her leadership ability firsthand.
"[Ancona's] hard work and dedication inspire those around her to do more and to be better,” Arness explained. “She cultivates others' leadership growth by trusting the ability of others to accomplish tasks and responsibilities, which in turn empowers those she leads and inspires both their creativity and ingenuity."
When she’s not tending to her presidential duties, Ancona enjoys spending time outdoors and being active: hiking, backpacking, running—“pretty much any sport.” She also likes reading. “I’m kind of a nerd at heart,” she said with a smile.
Ancona is from Rockford, Ill. and one of her biggest passions is her family. She calls her parents her best friends and says that her two younger brothers mean everything to her. Being intentional with family is crucial. “I think it’s tough as a student, especially when you’re far away, to remember how important your family is back home.”
Not only does Ancona believe in being intentional with family, but she also encourages students to make connections on campus. While urging students to get involved in the wide range of activities Bethel offers, she recommends establishing relationships with faculty or staff members as well.
“We can sit down and have coffee with our professors,” Ancona said. “I’ve told my friends that at public schools, and they’re like ‘What? Your teacher knows your name?’ Our teachers know our names after the first day. It’s crazy, and I think it’s so cool.”