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November 18, 2005

Bland named December Student of the Month


Having done volunteer work since the age of seven, Cowley College sophomore Ashley Bland always seems to have a smile on her face and is looking to brighten someone else’s day.

Bland, a 2004 graduate of Ponca City High School, has been named Cowley’s November Student of the Month. She is the daughter of June Finney Hamilton and Dr. Bill Hamilton, both of Ponca City, and Bruce and Sydney Bland of Arkansas City. Older sister Chelsea, 21, was runner-up for Queen Alalah two years ago. Her grandparents are Charles and Ida Finney of Winfield and Alice Bland of Ponca City. Step-grandparents are Bill and Claudia Hamilton of Ponca City.

Her mother, June, went to school and worked at Cowley, while Chelsea is now a pre-veterinarian major at Oklahoma State University.

She lived and attended school in Arkansas City until the sixth grade, when she went to Ponca City.
Bland, 19, serves as Cowley’s Student Government Association president, vice president of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and vice president of the Math and Science Club. She is also a member of Act One Drama Club and Campus Christian Fellowship, and is a Student Ambassador. She lives in the Kimmell Dormitory.

She is preparing for the upcoming children’s theatre production of Pinocchio, where she will serve as one of the wood elves. However, in her free time she enjoys volunteering her time to different organizations.

She received the Presidential Service Award for putting in 100 community service hours in one year. In high school, Bland was involved in Key Club, Leo Club, and did volunteer work with the United Way in Ponca City, Okla. She volunteered at Via Christi Medical Center for two years, taking flowers to people that were hospitalized.

“The older I got the more involved I got with certain organizations,” Bland said. “I really like the volunteer work. Everyday you smile it makes somebody else’s day just a little bit better. Whenever I have kids I definitely want to get them involved in volunteering.”

Bland, a dental hygiene major, plans to transfer to the University of Oklahoma after obtaining an associates degree from Cowley. She became interested in becoming a dental hygienist after having two sets of braces.

“I spent so much time in the dentist’s office that I started to feel comfortable in there, and began to ask the orthodontist and my regular dentist a lot of questions about their job,” Bland said.
During her junior year of high school she job shadowed her dentist and watched him work on reconstructing a little boy’s tooth that had been chipped.

“I thought that was the coolest thing ever,” Bland said. “I just find it very interesting.”
Bland, who was one of the five finalists for this year’s Queen Alalah, was happy to be named November Student of the Month.

“I was hoping to get nominated,” Bland said. “When I heard the news I was really excited.”
Besides volunteering her time, Bland also enjoys hanging out with friends and playing intramural dodge ball at Cowley. She also likes to knit, and scrapbook and cook with her mother, June.
She is not ready for her time at Cowley to come to an end.

“I don’t know what I am going to do next year being away from Cowley,” Bland said. “I am going to have fun at my university, but at the same time I am going to dearly miss Cowley. This has been two of the best years of my life.”