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Class of 2022 Valedictorian: Ashli Chicks

May 2022

Spelman College Valedictorian Ashli ChicksAshli Chicks, a chemistry major from Maryland, is a member of NSBE, the National Society of Black Engineers; the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society; and the Spelman College Chemistry Club. In May of 2022, she was inducted into Epsilon of Georgia, the Spelman chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. While at the College, Chicks spent a summer in Japan and used computational chemistry to study small molecules in the Van Vleet Lab.

For Chicks, “Studying abroad in Japan was a life-changing opportunity that gave me the chance not only to experience a different style of teaching, but also to immerse myself in a new and different culture. During the program, I was able to make friends with Japanese students who were as interested about my history and culture as I was about theirs.” She has remained in contact “with several of them” since her return home to Spelman. This experience taught Chicks that, despite differences in language and culture, people are alike in all the ways that explain our humanity. 

When asked to share a Spelman experience that impacted her life, Chicks immediately remembered the Spelman requirement that every student wear a white dress on Founders Day.  She followed the required attire both as an incoming freshman and as a graduating senior. Joining her sisters in white attire, attending convocation in historic Sisters Chapel, and singing the Spelman hymn were celebrations Chicks will never forget. They were emotionally charged experiences that strengthened her connection to Spelman, to her peers, and to a community of alumnae with whom she shares a love for the lyrics, “Spelman, thy name we praise;” for the historic meaning of the white dress; and for the embraces and tears that give meaning, celebration, and joy to the sisterhood at Spelman.  

When asked why she chose Spelman? Chicks answered:

blue-quote-leftI chose Spelman because of a gut feeling.” Something in her spirit said that this was the school she should attend. She never doubted that was the right decision. Had she chosen another college, she would not have traveled to Japan and studied small molecules in the Van Vleet Lab, become a member of Alpha Lambda Honor Society, been inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, and have the honor of being one of fiveblue-quote-right valedictorians in the Spelman Graduating Class of 2022.  

She would advise incoming students to make an effort to create meaningful connections with their Spelman sisters and to become involved in campus life. For Chicks, the best relationships are those that are cultivated. She believes that “you miss many meaningful experiences and many gifts when you leave connecting to chance.”

At the Spelman Commencement on May 15, 2022, Chicks said she will be moved in a special way when she joins arms with other graduates and sings “Spelman, thy name we praise.”  She will remember classes, events, experiences, friends, and professors that made her four years at the most memorable years of her life. 

Chicks will enjoy a gap year following graduation as she prepares to begin graduate school in the fall of 2023.  


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