Ashlica Malcolm ’18, whose ambition to advocate on behalf of vulnerable communities inspired her stellar academic career at the University of Bridgeport (UB), has been chosen to address graduates during the University’s 108th Commencement on May 5, 2018.
Her address as Class Speaker will cap four years of accomplishments Malcolm achieved as she strove to fulfill a succession of goals that she regularly tacked on her dorm room wall. Among them: get all A’s and get into law school.
She did both.
Malcolm is graduating summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and human security from UB, and she will attend law school at Quinnipiac University in the fall.
Raised in the Bronx, New York, Malcolm said her community was fraught by poverty and despair. While she saw many lose hope in their surroundings and even in themselves, Malcolm said social injustice, including police brutality, strengthened her resolve to “change the system.”
“I want to speak for people who have no voice,” she once said about her desire to major in criminal justice at UB and become a lawyer.
Her family did everything they could to support her. While her mother taught her to “turn a negative into a positive,” Malcolm’s brother worked three jobs to help pay for Malcolm’s college tuition.
Malcolm worked, too, as a residence adviser and a student ambassador for UB’s admissions office. She also interned with the nonprofit Lawyers without Boarders and served as the first president of Zeta Phi Beta sorority, where she was also a charter member. She cofounded the Academic Debate Club and was elected vice president of the Class of 2018. For two years, she joined other UB student volunteers who spent their March vacations helping in-need communities during Alternative Spring Break.
For these and other reasons, the UB Alumni Association awarded Malcolm its annual scholarship in the fall of 2017.
“I’m happy I was given this opportunity,” said Malcolm. “UB has been home for the past four years, a place where I can be myself.”
Leslie Geary, (203) 576-4625, firstname.lastname@example.org