Ashley J. Finigan ’08 is a PhD candidate in History at the University of Chicago and an Upper School History and American Studies Teacher at the Berkeley Carroll School in Brooklyn, NY. Additionally, Ashley earned her B.A, cum laude in History and Black Studies from Amherst College and received her M.A in African American Studies from Columbia University. She is also an NYU’s Faculty First Look scholar and has given talks on her work and research across many venues including Sony BMG, Cal Poly Pomona and scholarly and professional conferences.
Ashley will be defending her dissertation – “The National Council of Negro Women has been there even when our story has not been told…” The NCNW and the Creation of an International Black Women’s Civil Rights Movement, 1935-1975, this fall and developing the project as a book.
Her research and scholarly interests include curriculum and exhibit design, 19th and 20th century African
American History, Black women’s studies, Black popular music and culture and the cultural productions of
the African diaspora.
Along, with her academic pursuits Ashley has launched a wine brand with her fiancé Randy James, called
the A Line Wine, in homage to the shared first initials with her siblings and the unique histories of Black New
Ashley Finigan ’08
Q. Tell us about a job you did not get or take. How did this shape your career path?
A. I was a finalist for a very high profile position and though ultimately I did not get the job I learned many
- there is no such thing as the perfect candidate or the perfect fit, apply for that job anyway! Don’t reject
- closed mouths don’t get fed – ask for feedback and work your networks to get help with your resume, CV,
cover letters, job talks and presentations
- take risks and remember that a no is not the end of the road, that you can continue to build relationships
even if things didn’t quite work out as you’d planned