Rising Stars Spotlight: Sherrell Riley & Ashlynn Fields

Sherrell and Ashlynn recently started as interns for Women Leaders! A #WLS19 graduate, Ashlynn was inspired to get involved after hearing Cori Pinkett, Assistant AD for Character Formation at Baylor University, speak at the 2018 NCAA Emerging Leaders Seminar. She received her bachelor's degree in Applied Psychology and Human Development as well as Communication from Boston College. She recently earned her master's degree in Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs from the University of Southern California. At Women Leaders in College Sports she will serve as the membership services intern. Sherrell received her bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Winston-Salem University and her master's degree in Sports Administration from Old Dominion University. Prior to Women Leaders, Sherrell was the Director of Marketing and Business Development at Kentucky State University. The focus of Sherrell's internship at Women Leaders is events and special projects.


What brought you to Women Leaders in College Sports? (Ashlynn)

Having been a Women Leaders member for over two years and able to experience the 2018 National Convention and the 2019 Women’s Leadership Symposium, I’ve gained a great appreciation for this incredible organization. It was not until I spoke with Marissa Robinson (Assistant Director of Leadership Development, NCAA) about the Women Leader’s internship program that really made me take the leap of faith and apply. Looking back, I am beyond grateful for my conversation with Marissa and know it led me to a once in a lifetime opportunity.

What are your career goals after this internship? (Sherrell)

My career goals after this internship is to obtain a position in the external space possibly somewhere warm!

What's your favorite thing about Kansas City so far? (Ashlynn)

I love the variety of things to do and have learned that there is something unique about each part of the city. From the local street vendors in the River Market, to the trendy shops in the Plaza and the sporting events in the Power & Light District, you’ll never have a hard time making plans.

What is one way you're looking forward to challenging yourself this year? (Sherrell)

In my new professional role I am most looking forward to getting out of my comfort zone and learning new things that will enhance my knowledge. I look forward to being in an environment that will push me as well as challenge my thought process in order to create a better version of me.

What is the best advice you've ever received? (Ashlynn)

The best advice I’ve ever received was from my Dad, which was to trust the process and always believe in myself.

What are some of your go-to musical artists? (Sherrell)

 My spirit animal is a lion because it is respected among its peers and mild mannered, however, when needed the roar is loud and mighty.

Who is your #BecauseOf? Who helped you become the rock-star leader you are today? (Sherrell)

 #BecauseOf Etienne Thomas my career has taken off. She has encouraged me to network, recommended organizations to become active in, and pushed me beyond my limits. She continues to inspire and empower me to be great and do great things. 

What is your favorite Women Leaders Podcast? (Ashlynn)

Episode 7: Jacqie McWilliams: I loved hearing Jacqie’s perspective on what she learned from being a student-athlete that helped prepare her to be a coach, administrator, and to become the first African American female Commissioner at the CIAA. This podcast is an amazing reminder to surround yourself with positive people, narrow your focus on ‘the one thing’, and to don’t wait for other people to achieve your own goals.

Rising Stars is a members-only program designed to assist emerging professionals in developing, connecting, and advancing in their careers. If you're a student, intern, graduate assistant, or young professional with less than three years of full-time experience, this is the program for you!

Joining is easy: First, follow the Rising Stars community. Click here, then select "Follow Community" on the right-hand side. (You must be logged into your Women Leaders account).

Once you've joined, you're automatically opted in to receive the Rising Stars monthly newsletter, you'll be invited to Rising Stars Circle calls, you can join our closed Facebook group, and you'll hear from past Rising Stars Award recipients about how they kicked glass and exceeded all expectations!

If you have questions or problems logging in, contact Megan Cairns.