Dr. Ashley Tasker has been named the director of career services, economic development and outreach at Fairmont State University, where she looks forward to creating new relationships with students and the community.
Tasker, a Fairmont State alumna received her bachelor’s degree before going to West Virginia University for her Masters, has been working at the University for the last four years. She began as a Title III learning coordinator and then transitioned into a faculty role in the School of Business and the program coordinator for the health care management program.
“I’m excited to be in this position because I love the impact we can make here at Fairmont State and I got to experience that as a first generation college student,” she said. “The relationships I was able to forge while in school were incredible. Now I get serve the entire campus and forge better releationships with them and outside constituents. We can have such a positive impact on our students and community.”
In her new role, Tasker will be working with industry leaders in the community to find out what they need and want from students when they graduate.
“We have a lot of jobs coming to this area, North Central West Virginia is just booming. So I’ll get to work with the agencies and companies to see what they need from our graduates then in turn work with the departments to share those demands and make sure our curriculum fits that industry,” she said. “If we’re not providing those skills, we will look at how we can put it into our curriculum.”
Another part of her job is working with the students to help prepare them for life after college. Tasker said they work with students on resumes, cover letters, interviewing skills and even work to get them connected with local companies, it’s all about equipping them with tools they need after graduation.
“I’m looking forward to working with the students as soon as they step foot on campus as freshmen clear and beyond graduation,” she said. “Students can get jobs all the time, but careers are a different thing. As an institution, our job isn’t to just educate them but place them in a career.”
Tasker noted there are several initiatives she’d like to get started in the next year, one including the usage of digital badges and micro-credentials.
“When it comes to landing a career, it’s about more than just classwork but volunteer opportunities and gaining leadership skills,” she said. “With the ability to hopefully offer digital badging or micro-credentialing that can be added to a resume or LinkedIn profile, our students would have a greater advantage when employers are looking for those skill sets in employees.”
Tim McNeely, Vice President of students affairs, operations and athletics, said they are excited to have Tasker working in the Career Development Center.
“She brings with her a diverse background in her role as director of this very important student initiative,” he said. “Dr. Tasker will be intimately involved with our students as they develop the skills and knowledge to join an ever-changing workforce and to become the leaders of tomorrow.”