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Alumnae Stories

Alayna Blash - Veteran Leader in Higher Education and Student Engagement

January 2023

Alayna Blash photoAs a veteran leader in higher education and student engagement, Alayna Blash, DPM, C'94, applies her focus in supporting students under-represented in medicine to gain admission into professional school. With more than 15 years of service in education, Dr. Blash has worked in various career development roles combining her medical expertise with her passion for helping undergraduate students.

After working as a podiatrist, she entered academia in 2006 training students for allied health careers and now serves as the associate director of Spelman's Student Success Program.

In Her Own Words: Spelman Served as an Incredible Support System

Large Blue Quote LeftMy Spelman journey has come full circle for me.  In my current position working in the Student Success Program, I provide the same level of support to our current students that was given to me when I was in school. Spelman nurtured and affirmed me. I hope that I am able to do that for my younger Spelman sisters. My goal is to help them see possibility and opportunity as a chance for growth and not an obstacle to their success. Spelman gave me a network of women that I could rely on for friendship, sound advice and role models. Tara was part of my core when I was a student. We were all on a journey to medical school, and she was right there with us studying and pressing forward. She pushed us to be greater and nudged us when we were off course.  I'm thankful for her friendship.

Dr. Blash Pays it Forward and Changes Lives

Over the years, Dr. Blash has spearheaded several initiatives to propel African American female students towards undergraduate degree completion. Through the Student Success Program, she spearheads initiatives to promote collegiality and decrease the number of academically at-risk students. She serves on several committees, including the College Completion Action Team; and is a respected advisor who intentionally creates positive mentoring relationships with her students. 

A Spelman graduate and chemistry major, Dr. Blash teaches courses in Leadership, Health Science and First Year Experience. She holds a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree from Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is a member of several organizations, including the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA), the National Association for Advisors of the Health Professions (NAAHP) and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA).

Recognizing the lack of accessible resources to prepare students of color for careers in medicine, Dr. Blash founded PreMed Push, LLC in 2020. She utilizes a web-based platform to disseminate pertinent information and to motivate her audience. She also employs creative methods to decipher the complicated process and timelines that are often confusing to students. Committed to excellence, Dr. Blash offers valuable tips on how to develop an asset-based application profile and help students mitigate barriers to professional school acceptance. Her personal mentoring has led to multiple admission offers across several health-related disciplines.

Dr. Blash also serves as a volunteer advisor through the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions where she offers guidance to students who do not have access to a pre-professional advisor.  She is an active member on the board of the Southeastern Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (SAAHP). As co-chair of the SAAHP Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, her goal is to increase outreach to advisors at Historically Black Colleges and Universities and highlight issues that impede student persistence.

As a working mother, Dr. Blash enjoys spending time with her family and traveling to major league baseball games.